New York Comptroller Alan Hevesi announced Sunday that 198 convicted sex offenders have received Viagra through New York state Medicaid funds since January of 2000. The next day, Florida Attorney General Charlie Christ said that Florida’s Medicaid program has funded Viagra prescriptions for 218 convicted sex offenders over the past four years. Other states have also been investigating their Medicaid programs to see whether sex offenders have been receiving Viagra at the cost of the state.
In 1998, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) directed states to provide Medicaid coverage for Viagra when “medically necessary.” The CMS revealed this week that Medicaid programs pay out $36 million each year for Viagra. It is unclear how many sex offenders have received Medicaid funding for Viagra nationally since 1998. However, Hevesi’s spokesperson, David Neutadt, has said that he believes policies on Viagra are similar from state to state, the Associated Press reported.
Following Hevesi’s announcement, the federal Department of Health and Human Services released a letter to state Medicaid directors saying that state Medicaid programs “should restrict the coverage of such drugs” and warned that states could face sanctions if they do not “review and implement appropriate controls” to prevent convicted sex offenders from obtaining Viagra through Medicaid funds.
Media Resources: Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services 5/ 23/05; The Associated Press 5/23/05, 5/24/05, 5/25/05; New York State Office of the State Comptroller 5/22/05
10/29/2014 North Dakota Supreme Court Upholds Abortion Restrictions - The North Dakota Supreme Court yesterday upheld a set of misguided restrictions on medication abortion, allowing what is effectively a ban on early, non-surgical abortions in the state to go into effect immediately.
The decision overturned a lower court order finding the law, known as HB 1297, unconstitutional and permanently blocking its enforcement. . . .
10/29/2014 Georgia Court Refuses to Recognize 40K Voter Registrations From Primarily People of Color and Young People - A state court judge on Tuesday refused to order the Georgia Secretary of State to add some 40,000 voters to the voter rolls, potentially disenfranchising thousands of African Americans and other people of color in the state.
Judge Christopher Brasher of the Fulton County Superior Court denied a petition from the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (LCCR), the New Georgia Project and the Georgia branch of the NAACP asking the court to force Secretary of State Brian Kemp (R) to process an estimated 40,000 "missing" voter registrations.
More than 100,000 voters were registered by the three groups, but about a third of those registered never made the rolls. . . .