Sen. Coburn's Own Health Care Bill Doesn't Include Viagra Provision

March 24, 2010 2:33 pm ET — Matt Finkelstein

Senator Tom Coburn

President Obama signed health care reform into law yesterday, but Republicans are still doing everything they can to obstruct the reconciliation "fixes" in the Senate.  To that end, Republicans have offered a long list of amendments designed to make life difficult for Democrats. 

Yesterday, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) filed an amendment to the health care reconciliation bill that would ban coverage of erectile dysfunction drugs for sex offenders

While such a provision may seem uncontroversial, Coburn is sending a clear partisan message: Democrats can either vote for his amendment, which would delay and possibly derail the reconciliation bill by sending it back to the House, or get attacked for wanting to give Viagra to rapists and child molesters. 

Furthermore, the Viagra amendment is noticeably absent from Coburn's own health care bill, the Patients' Choice Act, which suggests that his concern about sexual offenders is disingenuous.  (On a related note, Coburn voted against Sen. Al Franken's anti-rape provision in the defense appropriations bill last year). 

The full text of the Patients' Choice Act is available here