Thursday, February 03, 2005

Feb 2, 2005

Bush Administration - Hard-on Men

One of my favorite lines of all time came from Gloria Steinem:

“If men could get pregnant abortion would be a sacrament.”

Amen sister. But what happens if a man can’t get “it” up? That, it seems, calls for government intervention. This administration, that is more than happy to force women to go through all 9 months of an unwanted pregnancy, are not about to let American men go through a night without a woody.

So yesterday Medicare – the same one that is already broke and getting broker -- announce it would pay the stiff price of ED drugs like Viagra for men who can’t whank their Willies at will.

Now some among us find this decision hard to reconcile with the Bush administration’s refusal to allow Medicaid to cover women’s contraceptive drugs or disease-fighting-unwanted-pregnancy-stopping condoms. Not to mention the Bush administration’s nonstop talk about encouraging abstinence among the unmarried.

Representative Steve King, Republican of Iowa, senses the inconsistency:

"We are promoting abstinence for young people with raging hormones, and yet we are going to ask them to pay taxes for sex-enhancing drugs for seniors? ….There are only two reasons for sex. One is procreation, and the other is recreation. If we are going to subsidize someone's recreational sex, I don't think that's what our founding fathers had in mind."

(Well, there is that thing in the Constitution about our “pursuit of happiness” rights. But I don’t thing that’s exactly what the founding fathers - other than Franklin – meant by that. And, in Franklin’s case, historical evidence show he needed not stinkin’ drugs to sow his oats.)

Alrighty, so let me get this straight. If a guy can’t do the deed because his hydraulics are on the fritz, the government will now pay to fix his flat. But, a single couple want to make whoopee without making a baby, or passing on a deadly virus like AIDS, don’t even ask.

Question: Will a guy have to be married before Medicare will front the cost of whoopee pills for him? I mean if he’s single then there are only two reasons he could want to regain this ability, and neither in step with wholesome red-state values. He is either going to mess with a single woman or, worse yet, another guy. So, is there a rule he has to be married – to a woman, of course?

And what if a guy with a documented case of AIDS asks Medicare to pay for his Viagra? Will Medicare comply? What will he do with his government-granted woody? Will he hit the party circuit sowing who knows how much disease, death and despair? Will Medicare then cough up money for condoms so he doesn’t spread AIDS? Under current rules, no way. Condoms, this administration believes, encourages promiscuity. And we wouldn’t want that now, would we?

But wait. If we have all these men out there who can’t perform, what better way to curb promiscuity? By paying for Viagra all Medicare is doing is paying billions of taxpayer dollars to put millions of men back in circulation (pun intended.)

So why do this? There are billions of reasons and none of them have anything to do with making desperate housewives any less desperate. The administration estimates the new Medicare drug benefit will cost more than $500 billion in its first 7 years. And who will be getting all that money? Viagra, made by Pfizer, Levitra, marketed by Bayer and GlaxoSmithKline, and Cialis, made by Eli Lilly.

Thirty tablets of Viagra, for example, sell for $260. Keeping a guy up for a month amounts to about the same as if Medicare made his monthly lease payment on a new car.

The election is over and it’s time to pay off those who made it happen. Good news for men with weak willies, bad news for taxpayers.

For women it’s a mixed blessing. The good news, their fella no longer needs batteries. The bad news – the government pays for his fun, but not for your protection, abortion or childcare.

So, remember that the next time the Bush folks talk about what bad shape Medicare is in and how it needs to be reformed. And why then they further weakened it by using already scarce Medicare funds to pay off their drug company supporters.

Someone is definitely getting screwed here and it’s not just women. It’s all of us.

Quote of the Day

"Today is Groundhog Day and the State of the Union Address. As Air America Radio pointed out, it is an ironic juxtaposition: one involves a meaningless ritual in which we look to a creature of little intelligence for prognostication -- and the other involves a groundhog."

By Stephen Pizzo
Raconteur at Large

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