Don`t hurry to ban Viagra!

Responding to a federal warning to stop using Medicaid to pay for erectile dysfunction drugs for sex offenders, some states this week began to ban the coverage.

On Thursday, Gov. Mark Warner of Virginia, a Democrat, issued an emergency order to stop the payments after the state`s Department of Medical Assistance Services found that more than 50 registered sex offenders in Virginia had received Viagra and similar drugs through Medicaid in the last year. In California, Gov. &to=http:// 18/88/353/12422_Schwarzenegger.html ' target=_blank>Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican, directed state agencies to stop providing such ex-convicts with the drugs.

"Requiring that convicted sex offenders be provided Viagra for sexual dysfunction, paid for by the taxpayers, is one of the worst policies ever developed by the politicians in Washington," Mr. Schwarzenegger said in a statement, tells the New York Times.

According to the Sun Times,in the past five years, more than 400 convicted sex offenders in New York and Florida received state-subsidized Viagra. Through a so-called loophole in Medicaid, &to=http:// ' target=_blank>Viagra has been prescribed by physicians who think their patients need it. Politicians and the media have come to the conclusion that taxpayers are helping convicted criminals commit further offenses. Giving Viagra to a sex offender has been likened to giving a gun to a convicted murderer. For once, it seems as if we have a bipartisan consensus. The problem is that physicians - not politicians - should be determining what is appropriate medication.

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