• Random Musing.

    It's already been made perfectly clear how many people feel about women's reproductive health, from the issues of birth control and abortion to how many (or how few, if any) kids a woman should be able to have. On the flip side, there's been nothing but positive support in the media for mens' reproductive health, most of which isn't necessarily dedicated to solving health issues such as prostate cancer as it is to things like blue pills that help the menfolk who are woefully past their prime relive their years as a young buck for an hour or two.

    Seriously, I thought there was such a thing as aging gracefully. If there really was one, toupees and hair plugs wouldn't exist in our cultural lexicon.

    What made me think about all this?

    According to data collected by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Medicare has spent more than $240 million of taxpayer money on penis pumps for elderly men over the past decade, and will surpass a quarter of a billion dollars this year for costs since 2001.

    The cost to taxpayers for the pumps more than quadrupled during that period, from a low of $11 million in 2001 to a high of more than $47 million in 2010. And these represent only the costs for external devices, technically classified as “Male Vacuum Erection Systems,” not implantable devices or oral drugs such as Viagra.

    The story broaches evidence of fraud in a few instances, but the point is that it got me thinking that if this involved birth control or abortion pills, that the furies that are the religious right and their Teabagger compatriots would raise the carcass of Herman Cain over this issue. Instead, all you're likely to get is a few words on Medicare fraud, a couple of 7th grade dick jokes and that's about it.

    Me? I just find it odd how lots of people have moral objections to components of women's reproductive health that don't pertain directly to keeping the fetus healthy (or abstinence), yet they are willing to give a free pass to the hundreds of millions of dollars spent to provide elderly men with penis pumps and blue pills in a semi-futile race to reclaim their old vigor. It's things like this that led me to question the priorities of this nation on a daily basis.