The Corner

Senator Coburn Was Right to Worry

An update from the very classy Senator Coburn:

As you may recall, the Senate recently rejected an amendment Dr. Coburn offered to the reconciliation bill that would have prevented sex offenders, child molesters and rapists from obtaining taxpayer-funded erectile dysfunction drugs through the new health care law.  Opponents argued Dr. Coburn’s amendment was “not serious” even though there have been hundreds of cases of sex offenders receiving these drugs through Medicaid as this piece on MSNBC demonstrated.

In a new study, the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service has shown Dr. Coburn’s concern to be well-founded.  CRS has completed an analysis regarding the probability that convicted sex offenders could receive coverage of Viagra under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). CRS concluded: “There are no provisions in the PPACA which would require qualified health plans to limit the type of benefits that can be offered based on the plan beneficiary’s prior criminal convictions.  Additionally, there do not appear to be any provisions that would specifically restrict qualified health plans’ coverage of drugs prescribed to treat ED.”

“… Therefore, a convicted rapist, child molester, or other sex offender who is not incarcerated would not appear to be excluded from enrolling in a qualified health plan offered through an American Health Benefit Exchange in their state solely because of that conviction.”

More here.

NRO Staff — Members of the National Review Online editorial and operational teams are included under the umbrella “NR Staff.”

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