U.S. Government Pays Way Too Much for Its Penis Pumps

Photo: Shannon Stapleton/Corbis

A few paragraphs into a Reuters report on how the government spends way too much money on penis pumps (to treat erectile dysfunction) comes this surreal quote from an inspector general's report: "Medicare currently pays suppliers more than twice as much for VES as the Department of Veterans Affairs and consumers over the Internet pay for these types of devices." That total: $172.4 million, from 2006 to 2011, for about 474,000 Medicare claims, not including VA. Talk about engorged spending! (Also, guys, they have deals on these things. Check the spam folder.)