A Real Moral Crisis

Nothing makes me more depressed than to see how some prescription drugs are practically given away… (via Eschaton)

Scores of convicted rapists and other high-risk sex offenders in New York have been getting Viagra paid by Medicaid for the last five years, the state’s comptroller said Sunday.

Audits by Comptroller Alan Hevesi’s office showed that between January 2000 and March 2005, 198 sex offenders in New York received Medicaid-reimbursed Viagra after their convictions. Those included crimes against children as young as 2 years old, he said.

Hevesi asked Michael Leavitt, secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in a letter Sunday to “take immediate action to ensure that sex offenders do not receive erectile dysfunction medication paid for by taxpayers.”

…while others are nearly impossible to obtain.

Under assault in California and other states over the cost of prescription drugs, manufacturers are increasingly touting their donations of medicine to sick poor people. But some of the ill and their advocates say the free drugs are not as easy to obtain as the industry suggests.

They complain that manufacturers change application criteria without notice, require income documentation that many homeless and mentally ill patients cannot provide and establish other bureaucratic prerequisites that block many needy people from getting help.
. . .
Some companies require that a person be rejected for Medicaid programs — a process that can take months — before being eligible for free drugs. Dozens of firms require tax returns, paycheck stubs or other documentation that patients are too poor to afford the drugs. Many of the most desperate patients are homeless, mentally ill or work off the books and do not have financial records.

“I had a fellow who went around collecting cans, and at the end of the day, he cashed them in for a small sum,” said Lynn Bramwell, patient assistance program coordinator for Yolo County. “He was homeless, and that’s what he lived on. We tried to enroll him for some diabetic medicine. The company said, ‘We need some sort of documentation for his income.’ And I said, ‘He collects cans.'”

Bramwell said the company refused to provide the medication, and he never heard from the homeless man again.

If it weren’t for those Republican dickheads in 19941 and their cries of “socialized medicine” we might not be where we are now. Americans die of preventable causes every day because a bunch of selfish, elitist scumbags decided that they’d rather let poor people die than wait in a line. It’s sickening and we all know who has blood on their hands.

1 : But as Tom mentioned last year, it’s not like Clinton’s approach was without its faults.