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Congress & erectile dysfunction drugs for convicted pedophiles

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POSTED March 28, 2010 2:17 a.m.
Find me a Democrat - or a Republican - in Congress who really wants national health care to foot the bill for convicted rapists and pedophiles to obtain erectile dysfunction drugs.

Or find someone in either party in the Senate or the House who is in favor of taxing wounded soldiers on their medical devices.

Those are two of the egregious examples that were put to a vote in the Senate prior to passage of President Obama’s health care package. The vote was strictly party lines with the Republicans against paying for Viagra et al for convicted sex criminals as well as against taxing wounded veterans for their medical devices and the Democrats voting the exact opposite.

It was all part of the fun and games that got the health care bill passed through the reconciliation process. The Republicans put up dozens of amendments that the Democrats had no choice but to vote them down if they wanted the bill to move forward now instead of later.

Politically speaking, it was genius on the part of Republicans. However, there is a very fine line between genius and stupidity.

All of the points the Republicans made related to the health care bill in terms of the amendments they tried to get passed are valid. They did it, of course, to tar and feather incumbent Democrats in November.

However, if all of those proposed amendments aren’t re-introduced in the coming months as straight-forward legislation, the Republicans deserve to be tarred and feathered as well.

And if the Democrats don’t take steps to correct the flaws such as using tax dollars to help convicted pedophiles and rapists they are no better than the Republicans.

Let’s zero in on the Viagra-for-pedophiles issue for a second. Tax dollars are already being spent on such drugs for roughly 800 convicted rapists and pedophiles through Medicare. That was based on a 2005 study. The number could be higher today.

So if the Republicans knew this, why wait until the ObamaCare standoff? Better yet, if anyone in an elected position in Washington, D.C., knew about the study - and they do now if they didn’t before - why isn’t there a rush to pass legislation right now to prevent such a travesty and twisted use of tax dollars from continuing?

The answer is simple. Congress likes to see “the big picture” unless of course it comes down to government subsidies and contracts for their campaign donors. They can get anal retentive with where the Pentagon has to buy wing nuts for a specific plane from a factory deep in the heart of a powerful Congressman’s district but they can’t sweat details such as strapped taxpayers being forced to help convicted rapists overcome erectile dysfunction issues.

Too often Congress passes laws that are vague and sweeping with no attention given to details. As a result, the massive federal bureaucracy - that has expanded significantly in the past two years while the private sector and many state and local agencies including school districts have cutback jobs - decides exactly how tax dollars are spent.

In doing so, they create a need to “oversee” functions such as national health care beyond what the most vocal supporter envisioned. The basic concept of whether Uncle Sam should become Doctor Sam to everyone is a legitimate philosophical point that people disagree on. What they shouldn’t disagree on is the need to prevent the bureaucracy from using every new bill that goes through Congress as a way to expand the bureaucratic blob.

If anything will make national health care fail to live up to its promises it will be the federal bureaucracy including massive agencies that have yet to be formed to administer it.

It isn’t, however, the fault of the bureaucrats. Blame for the bureaucracy often grinding responses down to a trickle or regulating beyond the original intent of law is the fault of Congress and the President. By that, it doesn’t mean just the current Congress or President Obama. It is about any Congress and President - past and present - who have a spotty record - if that good - of doing anything to try to reign in the federal bureaucracy.

The concept of national health care as presented isn’t nearly as scary as what the federal bureaucracy will mutate it into.

If Senator Barbara Boxer Congressman Jerry McNerney step up and address the need for a law to prohibiting federal funds to be used for erectile dysfunction treatment for convicted rapists and pedophiles as well as prohibit taxing wounded soldiers for their medical devices, they deserve to be considered seriously for re-election.

The same litmus test, though, also applies to Republican and Democratic incumbents alike in other states and congressional districts.
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