Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Triumph of Bureaucracy over Brains

This is what happens when people make hasty decisions about sex.

In a recent audit by New York's Comptroller office, it was discovered that at least 198 convicted sex offenders have been receiving Viagra through the governments Medicaid program. Apparently this is all fallout from a 1998 decision that the US federal program should cover the little blue pill. And since this is a federal program, the problem is most likely a issue accross the entire United States.

I don't necessarily have a real problem with the idea of people on Medicaid receiving this type of medication, but I'm wondering just how they'll fix this loophole. The doctor's prescribing it have no way of knowing who is a convicted sex offender or not and I'm guessing the offenders themselves aren't volunteering this info.

Of course, not all experts see this as a bad thing. Dr. Fred Berlin, of Johns Hopkins, believes that viagra can actually help convicted offenders who are currently in healthy relationships. Screw viagra, I just want some of what he's taking. Sex offenders have some of the highest recidivism rates of any crime. Do you really want to help 'arm' them just so you can help the 1 in 100 that may have actually reformed himself. As Sen. Chuck Schumer put it, giving a convicted sex offender Viagra is like issuing a convicted murderer an assault rifle.

Here's the AP story, courtesy of MSNBC.

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