Monday, June 16, 2008

The Viagra Vote

Hulshof Was Only Mo. Republican To Vote For Gov't Coverage For Viagra, Cialis, Levitra
Check out the June 2005 Vote HERE
UPDATE: Hulshof Campaign Claims Steelman Voted For Viagra in State Budget -- But Was It Mandated By the Feds?
Congressman Kenny Hulshof was the only Missouri Republican and just one of three Missouri House members who voted against an amendment to prohibit government funds from being used to reimburse for Viagra, Levitra or Cialis.
The June 24, 2005 vote was first brought up by Hulshof's rival, Sarah Steelman, at a Missouri Press Association debate in Lake Ozark on Friday. Iowa Rep. Steven King introduced the amendment to ban government funding for these drugs. His amendment ultimately passed 285-121.
But a look at the Roll Call vote from U.S. House records show that Hulshof was the only Missouri Republican to vote against the King amendment. G.O.P. Reps. Todd Akin, Roy Blunt, Jo Ann Emerson and Sam Graves all voted for the amendment. Democratic Reps. Ike Skelton and Emanuel Cleaver also voted for the amendment.
Only Hulshof and Democratic Reps. William Clay and Russ Carnahan voted against the King amendment. Only 33 House Republicans in all voted against the subsidization of these drugs.
You can read the New York Times' account of the vote here: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/06/25/politics/25viagra.html
"We provide drugs through Medicare and Medicaid that are lifesaving drugs; we don't pay for lifestyle drugs," said Representative Steve King, Republican of Iowa, the chief sponsor of the measure at the time.

"I argue that sex has only two reasons, one of them is for procreation, and we don't subsidize procreation in the form of fertility drugs," he said. "And the other reason for sex is recreation, and we should not be funding recreational drugs of any kind, be they psychedelic or for sexual impotency."
Opponents complained afterward that the House was treading on dangerous turf by making medical judgments that could affect Americans' most intimate moments.
UPDATE 12:09 a.m. . . Kenny Hulshof's campaign for Governor fired back, by claiming that as a state Senator, Sarah Steelman voted to cover Viagra costs for registered sex offenders.
“Sarah Steelman made a point of suggesting, several times, that voting in favor of Viagra coverage calls one’s courage into question,” said Scott Baker, Hulshof's campaign spokesperson. “What does she say when it is revealed that she voted to give Viagra to registered sex offenders?”

State government covered the cost of Viagra for some sex offenders in 2004. Steelman cast a favorable vote for the Medicaid budget, including the Viagra coverage, in May of 2004.

The Steelman campaign believes the two issues are not equal -- because while the federal Viagra amendment was a specific vote, the state Viagra issue involved a budget where some of the money was later directed for that purpose.
Audits by New York Comptroller Alan Hevesi showed that sex offenders in that state were receiving Medicaid-reimbursed Viagra during this same period. But according to a May 2005 Associated Press article, Hevesi said the problem was an unintended consequence of a 1998 directive from federal officials telling states that Medicaid prescription programs must include Viagra.
"Additionally, Sarah Steelman voted on multiple occasions to bloat the size of Medicaid. As senator, Steelman was one of only two Republicans who voted against a bipartisan reform of Medicaid that attempted to reign in eligibility for things such as Viagra. Ironically, Steelman didn’t get around to mentioning that last Friday. She was too busy criticizing Hulshof for his "big spending,'" reads the Hulshof release.

"This is yet another Steelman Stumble – criticizing Kenny Hulshof while hoping no one pays attention to her actions," Baker said.

2 comments:

Matt said...

We ought to give the congressman a break on this one. After all, he probably thought he was voting for ELECTORAL reform.

CharityAngel said...

LOL. A budget that later diverts funds is not the same as voting for it specifically LOL... Wow, I bet Viagra loves all this press! LOL ha ha ha