The Government Is Stiffing Taxpayers on Penis Pumps

You won’t believe this, but the federal government is blowing millions of taxpayer dollars on penis pumps.

Medicare, that great liberal victory of Lyndon Johnson, shelled out cash for a staggering 473,620 penis pump claims between 2006-2011, and that’s not even counting our veterans, according to a report from the Office of the Inspector General. All in all, the government paid over $172 million dollars for penis pumps. And with the amount of baby boomers entering into the system, the cost is only going to grow. And grow. Read the whole report here.

Side note, who else out there thinks LBJ would be totally cool with the government handing out penis pumps?

The federal government paying for penis pumps, called “vacuum erection systems” in the report, isn’t really an issue. Medicare Part B considers vacuum erection systems to be “durable medical devices” and “prosthetics.” The problem is that the government is paying twice as much for them. According to , they range from around 30 bucks for low-end models to around 80 bucks or so for the nicer, battery-operated pumps. The government report agrees with this finding. The feds, however, pay on average $185.96 for their pumps.

Another side note, hats off to that government worker who went out on that little comparative shopping trip. Also, how did he or she approach their supervisor with this news? “Oh hey, I’ve noticed that we are getting fleeced on penis pump prices. Don’t ask how I know, please.”


So should the government be shelling out for penis pumps? Absolutely. Beyond it being rather awesome, , the Internet’s go-to place for that headache you think may actually be cancer, says that vacuum erection systems are one of the few treatments for erectile dysfunction. So there’s that.

Should the government be paying so much for them? Waste, fraud and abuse aside, let’s just chalk this one up to job creation and, um, stimulating the economy. So, the next time you hear a tea partier complain about government spending, which probably isn’t often given the majority of my readers are sane and have been to the dentist in the last five years, use this helpful device:

Tea Party: “The government is all about waste and fraud.”

You: “Well, yeah, but it’s wasting a lot so you can have an erection. So, you give up your erection, and I’ll give up meals-on-wheels. Deal?”

Tea Party: “Oh … well … I guess that’s cool.”

Pump away, America.

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