Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

MEDICAID; Enabling Rapists

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

MEDICAID; Enabling Rapists

Article excerpt

For anyone with even a modicum of decency, Florida has been going through a difficult time.

A registered sex offender allegedly abducted, raped and killed a 9-year-old Citrus County girl in March. The Associated Press says she was asphyxiated after being buried alive. In April, a 13-year-old Hillsborough County child was murdered, reportedly by another sex offender -- in this case, a man who had dated her mother.

Now, in May, comes the news that sex offenders in this state have been getting free Viagra through Medicaid. This isn't just an isolated incident or two, either. The Bradenton Herald quotes a state official as saying 170,000 claims for erectile dysfunction drugs were paid in 2004 alone.

Nor is this purely a Florida issue. It has been happening in other states for several years.

The AP says the problem began in 1998, when the Clinton administration ordered that Medicaid prescriptions include Viagra. That apparently was taken as meaning it must be given to everyone in the program. …

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