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Penis Pumps Cost Taxpayers Millions

Posted in Bureaucracy3 years ago • Written by Defender Of LibertyNo Comments

     The Medicare program spent $172 million of your money between 2006 and 2011 on penis pumps. This should not be news to some people, but in light of the fact that Medicare no longer covers diagnostic tests, it should infuriate people that bureaucrats decided diagnostic tests used to diagnose various cancers and develop plans to treat those cancers have been deemed “medically unnecessary.”

     The Medicare program spends $450 million per year on PSA (prostate-specific antigen) screenings for prostate cancer. The benefits of a PSA screening are questionable at best. The Mayo Clinic thinks PSA screenings are unreliable and lead to a lot of unnecessary anxiety and painful follow up treatments/procedures. The Mayo Clinic outlines the potential “dangers” after a PSA screening as follows:

  • Worry about false-positive results caused by elevated PSA levels from something other than prostate cancer;
  • Invasive, stressful, expensive or time-consuming follow-up tests;
  • False reassurance from a PSA test that doesn’t reveal cancer (false-negative), leading to a missed diagnosis of aggressive prostate cancer that needs treatment;
  • Stress or anxiety caused by knowing you have a slow-growing prostate cancer that doesn’t need treatment;
  • Deciding to have surgery, radiation or other treatments that cause side effects that are more harmful than untreated cancer.

     There is an alternative to spending $450 million annually on an unreliable test that normally leads to risky biopsies, which in turn creates downstream costs that add to the already exorbitant price tag for the PSA screenings.

     There are reliable diagnostic tests that can accurately identify cancer thereby saving millions of men the unnecessary biopsies, operations, and radiation treatments that cost the Medicare program an estimated $12 billion annually to treat prostate cancer. The sophisticated tests go beyond discovery by examining the genetic workings of the cancer to distinguish dangerous tumors that require treatment from slow-growing ones that can be left alone. These tests are not covered by the Medicare program.

     The bureaucrats have deemed that all diagnostic tests are “medically unnecessary,” but penis pumps are medically necessary. In fact, the fedgov bureaucrats spending your tax dollars are willing to pay any amount for penis pumps. Medicare pays $360 apiece for penis pumps. You can go to Walgreens and purchase a ‘medically necessary’ penis pump at a price of $14.99 to $149.99. The fedgov bureaucrats are overpaying for something they shouldn’t pay for at all.

     Listen, prostate cancer and other cancers are not a big deal. It doesn’t make sense to the ‘experts’ at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to pay for tests that are capable of accurately identifying cancers and providing the genetic workings of a particular cancer. Yes, of course, the tests can provide valuable information to physicians and patients to assist in the treatment plan of a particular cancer, but why bother. Medicare recipients are old, so it doesn’t make sense to waste money on diagnostic tests.

     Gentleman, do you have prostate cancer? Get a penis pump. Ladies, do you have vaginal cancer? Did you know you can have your entire vagina removed? Why not a vaginectomy?

     My advice to every person in America is to save your money for health care services. Every person’s budget should include a line item for health care. The federal government controls Medicare, Medicaid, and the medical plans offered by insurance companies, so bureaucrats decide what services are medically necessary and unnecessary. You are going to need cash to pay for the medically necessary services that the fedgov bureaucrats have deemed ‘medically unnecessary.’

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