home
RSS
August 9th, 2010
01:57 PM ET

Teacher's union fights for Viagra

In the time of major budget crunches and layoffs in education, a teacher’s union in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is fighting for the right to Viagra.

From CNN’s affiliate WISN: “The union claims that some teachers could be discriminated against by not having the drug covered by insurance.”

The station also reports that the Milwaukee school system is about $30 million in debt. Erectile dysfunction pills cost about $20 to $25 a pop - that most insurance companies do not provide coverage.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported: “In 2008, the teachers' union filed a charge with the state's Equal Rights Division, complaining that not offering the drug violated the Wisconsin Fair Employment Act.”

Milwaukee parents aren’t quite so sympathetic about the plight of the male teachers and their erectile needs.

"It's a waste of time, let's spend time on the kids," said Deon Patton, who has children enrolled in Milwaukee Public Schools, told WISN.


soundoff (439 Responses)
  1. T. B.

    This is just a guess.... as a secondary teacher with nineteen years of experience, I would surmise that the drug "category" in which Viagra fits is being questioned, and not just that specific prescription. This "non-essential medication" category could include birth control, hormone patches, pre-natal vitamins and medication for some mental illnesses. It's an insurance problem, and has less to do with the little blue pill than it does with the right for a doctor prescribe appropriate prescription medication. It may be that the Union is fighting for medical benefits, and not just Viagra. And as a gentle reminder, some men require this prescription after surviving a battle with prostate cancer.

    August 9, 2010 at 18:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Julian

    Unions are spent. They are tired, floppy, and droppy social organizations whose flimsy arguments for drug usage so that some of their worn out flaccid members can become stiff is lax. Anyway, I thought Healthcare Reform was supposed to strengthen the ability to receive medical care… I hope teachers don’t complain when they are laid off due to lack of funds because taxpayers refuse to pay for their nighttime frolicking.

    August 9, 2010 at 19:07 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ian

      Fix the health care companies and the cost of health care. School districts lack money not because of teachers and unions. They lack money becuase state governments aren't coming through with the funds needed and no one is regulating the grow of health care costs. Ten years ago my health care benefits cost 2 thousand dollars a year and now they 14 thousand dollars a year. They didnt get that high from the union of due to teacher utilization. Unfortunately your comments are floppy, tired and uninformed.

      August 10, 2010 at 03:56 | Report abuse |
  3. Jim

    Apparently teachers are doing fine in Wisconsin and they don't need a bailout since they are so concerned about such a petty issue.

    August 9, 2010 at 19:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. sparknut

    It wouldn't be an issue if the drug companies weren't GOUGING the male public on the cost of those pills.
    $20 – 25 each, for a drug that has been on the market for a while now? Common, get real!
    Can't wait for it to go generic.

    August 9, 2010 at 19:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Jim

    I have a better solution. If anyone complains about not getting Viagra for free, chop off his non-functional part. Problem solved. No Viagra needed.

    August 9, 2010 at 19:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Helen P.

    I believer that unions are still necessary in our society. However, given the state of the economy and presuming that the members of this Wisconsin teacher's union contribute nothing towards the cost of their medical/ prescription coverage, as do many members of teacher's unions across the USA, I think that the cost of these type drugs, if not covered by insurance, could certainly be absorbed by the union members themselves. Its a small price to pay. Not all drugs are covered standardly under insurance policies.
    It's about time that public sector employees realize that they must start contributing towards the premiums of their health insurance, as the private sector has been doing for decades!
    They should keep in mind that the vast majority of the local tax payers, whose taxes pay for their "free medical insurance," also have to contribute towards the cost of their own medical premiums. This has to stop. It's just not fair. Totally free healthcare must end.

    August 9, 2010 at 19:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. randy

    20.00 to 25 a pop!!! I can do 5x better than that via local connection. If you're paying that much conatct me and you won't even need a script. Or talk to some of your high school students..I bet the same dealer that sells them weed can get your little blue pills. Improvise people! We're in a recession!

    August 9, 2010 at 19:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. PAPilot

    "... right to viagra... "

    Excuse me for one second here. Would someone point out to me where in the constitution the _RIGHT_ to viagra is enumerated?

    Thanks...

    August 9, 2010 at 19:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Bonnie

    Teachers need to have sex during school hours? gimme a break. It is not discrimination to be denied Viagra. That teacher's union is a disgrace. I am a teacher and if my union tried that, I would quit the union.

    August 9, 2010 at 19:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Jimthedo, Phoenix, AZ

    If I was impotent it might make me ornery....to the point I might beat some kid in class who is acting up.

    August 9, 2010 at 19:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Fred

    Give them the benefit – just raise their premiums, Give a little ......take alot.

    August 9, 2010 at 19:41 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Helen P.

      Again, on the backs of the local taxpayers! Many of public sector groups are self-insured, meaning that the municipality pays the insurance company a fee to administer their claims. Under this type funding arrangement, the municipality pays all the claims with their own money. They incur all the risk. If you decide to cover this type medication, then the paid claims go up, ultimately costing the local taxpayer more in taxes!
      As one of those local taxpayers, I don't think this is a good idea!

      August 9, 2010 at 20:48 | Report abuse |
    • Ian

      Helen you do realize that all of the Congressional leaders who spoke out about health care reform get free health care provided by the taxpayers.

      August 10, 2010 at 04:01 | Report abuse |
  12. Moli

    I have no idea where you posters live in the country. Where I live and in many other states, teachers are paid for 9 months of work. They have the option of being paid their full wages over 9 months OR have pro-rated wages over 12 months. If the wages are 35K, its over a period of either 9 or 12 months...but the wages remain at 35K. Please research before spewing false information. BTW, I am not a teacher. I happen to be related, friends and have little students

    August 9, 2010 at 19:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. k

    Viagra is not Just used for "getting it up". My husband had prostate cancer. After surgery it is important to increase oxygenated blood flow to the area for healthy nerve repair. He was prescribed low dosage viagra to be taken daily for medical purposes. It was not prescribed for getting erections. Unfortunately it is advertised for E.D. and is never shown for the medical necessity. Because of this most insurance policy's do not cover it. What is being asked for, in coverage, is Not a dosage that would produce a utile erection. It is a medical necessitous prescription. I wish people would become educated before running off at the mouth.

    August 9, 2010 at 19:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. cfl2cents

    10111775, that is the most coherent comment here. Well said.

    August 9, 2010 at 20:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Observer

    Oh, wow. These guys may have to spend their entire full-pay no work summer without erections.
    You have to wonder which of their heads does the "thinking".

    August 9, 2010 at 20:05 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ian

      Clearly you unable to use either.....

      August 10, 2010 at 04:02 | Report abuse |
  16. mike johnson

    Face it folks ... they are all crooks whether they come from the right or from the left.

    August 9, 2010 at 20:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. BABAK

    Idn't know about you guys, but having guys on viagra, while teaching at school doesn't sound too good to me. How would one explain the bonner while writing on the blackboard?

    August 9, 2010 at 20:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Scott

    Okay first in this economy teachers were one of the few take a pay raise 3 or 4% each yr. I had my pay cut 10% for a year , In my current position I pay just shy of 600.00 a month in health ins at my last job it was near 400-500 per month. They don't. My current Rx is I pay up front and get 70% back after deductible. Do they pay anything? Now lets talk about the other benefits to this union having to close schools so they can attend conferences and we have to take vacation days or pay for child care in addition to school fees or even take a day off unpaid.. If they are so important let us deduct day care expenses from the school fees we pay each yr, wait they owe us money. Another option would be to have those days as No Pay days for the teachers. Since the union was not willing to freeze thier pay in these troubling times I would have to say no to Viagra or any raise for at least 2 yrs to aid in balancing the budget of the local economies which have been hard hit by the recession.

    August 9, 2010 at 20:15 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ian

      Untile teachers reach the last step in the pay scale( Craft/Guild model) they are paid a suppressed wage. If inflation averages 3% a year and teachers are getting 3% pay raises then each year they are just maintaing the status quo assuming they are already at the top the pay scale. Everyone below is in essence making less each year once you account for inflation. It is unfortunate that you took a pay cut and pay so much for your health care. Perhaps your field would benefit form a union. Teacher's pays looks good during a recession and bad during economic boom. As a teacher I do pay some of my healthcare benfits. Health care benefits typically offest the suppressed wage while progressing through the salary scale mentioned above. Blaming the union for closing schools is absurd. Due to state and federal regulations to maintain teaching credentials teachers are required to continue their education. Your logic for us owing you money is also absurd. I propose this. You could pay me minimum wage per student per over 180 days and I would more than triple my salary. Consider that I average 25 students per class and teach six classes a day. My compensation for one day would equal $1087.50 per day. Multiply that by 180 days and that would equal $195,750. I would gladly pay for all my own benefits if this is what I could earn for teaching kids. I will go one step further. Only the people who had students in the community would pay the minimum wage. 7.25 and hour for 7 hours each day ($50.70) multiplied by 180 days eqauls $9135 dollars a year for one kid. Suddenly that school tax you pay based on the value of your home looks affordable.

      In regards to the viagra issue it seems stupid of the union to press this issue but I suspect that the bigger issue is a precription plan. However, know the hatred for unions and evil teachers by focusing on viagra this servers a political purpose rather than addressing the real issue.

      August 10, 2010 at 04:21 | Report abuse |
  19. UNIONSHaveBankruptedAmerica

    This isn't a health insurance issue. It isn't a Dem/Republican issue. This is a UNION issue. Unions have held employers, governments and citizens of America hostage at every turn for the last century. Unions’ usefulness evaporated with the creation of OSHA to help ensure safe working conditions. Every other intent of any union is based purely on greed and self-indulgence.

    Unions’ gluttony and ravenousness self-serving demands have produced a society of selfish entitlement and mediocrity that has bankrupted our country and our competitive will.

    The Milwaukee teacher’s union has once again proved their obsolescence and absurdity for their existence.

    As a parent and grandparent I am much more concerned about a teacher’s ability to teach and inspire our youth than if he can get a hard on.

    August 9, 2010 at 20:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Jeepers

    If I have to see one more commercial about horny old men having trouble keeping it up, I'm stabbing my eyeballs out. I'm so ready for the FDA to drop the "Oh cr@p!" bomb and take it off the market because it's dangerous or makes you grow an an extra arm or whatever...just like 95% of all new drugs.

    August 9, 2010 at 20:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Energizer Bunny

    Wow, now I've seen everything. Can't recall teachers needing an artificial basketball jones when I grew up. Why don't they just retire these teachers before they reach of the age of flacidity? Makes me wonder if that Milwaukee teacher's union is sinking their pension funds in Pfizer stock.

    Anyway, who needs Viagra? Some of us go on and on and on and on.

    August 9, 2010 at 20:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. macdaddy

    With all those hot, perky, flawless, teen bodies out there, teachers might need a little something to calm them down, not get them up.

    August 9, 2010 at 20:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Brian

    News flash! Ann Coulter had to see her doctor after taking Viagra because she had a four hour erection.

    August 9, 2010 at 20:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Rodboy

    ONLY IN AMERICA – Golly Lee Oly, let's have another beer and watch NASCAR

    August 9, 2010 at 20:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Joe

    The public school system has been screwing us so much who would have thought that they would need viagra...

    August 9, 2010 at 20:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. RSS

    The pay and benefits for teachers sucks in South Carolina. Contracts are unilateral and by no definition does teaching meet the standards of being called a profession. You have no life for 9 months out of the year and your work doesn't end when school is over. You are constantly having to take recertification courses at your own expense, attend (required) professional book clubs, and suffer abuse from administrators who have no idea what they are doing. Plus, most teachers' marriages end in divorce. Then, you are forced to teach a curriculum that is sanitized and not relevant to anything a kids needs to know in today's society and evaluated subjectively on your success. No wonder few want to go into the profession and students don't like going to school. The pay scale is ridiculously low for what one has to do to become certified and you are expected to work for free providing after-school tutorials, serving bus duty, forced to attend athletic events, etc. South Carolina teachers need union representation.

    August 9, 2010 at 20:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Emmitt Langley

    Right to have viagra...wow.

    All I can say is wow...when people ask us why we homeschool our kids, I'm just thinking, are you guys even paying attention?

    August 9, 2010 at 21:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Michelle789

    There is more to life than sex, people!! This addiction needs to stop. Maybe their insurance can pay for some therapy? 😛

    August 9, 2010 at 21:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. paul

    what has viagra and erection got to do with teaching school ? i finished school 55 years ago , i did not realize that a teacher needed a erection to teach, geesh what next?

    August 9, 2010 at 21:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Nollie

    Until we go a full year without a teacher having sex with a student I don't think the idea of having their insurance (tax dollar funded) cover Viagra should even come up. The article states the obvios that we all know, most insurance packages don't cover the drug, so why should it be covered for teachers. Maybe the women of Wisconsin should step their game up and then the male teachers might not the the boost...

    August 9, 2010 at 21:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Christopher

    Let's be fair here. I am a married man. And I have high blood pressure. That I got through heredity, not being obese or out of shape or eating bad. A consequence is I have to take medicatiosn teh rest of my life or burn out my kidneys, eyes, and have a stroke in all probability. A bad side affect of some of the drugs I have taken is ED. And ED can put aq lot of strian on a married loving couple relationship. Let's put this in perspective. Not all Viagra is taken by teenagers or people out having affiairs or one night stands. It can be a very helpful remedy afecting the well being of an entire family. The same argument can be made about a whole raft of other drugs paid for by the same health plan. basicly is it really necessary? I would argue a large number of prescriptions for things like statins, yellow tonail pills, etc fall in the same catagory. Be careful who you judge it may be YOU next.

    August 9, 2010 at 21:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Das

    This is another example of what's wrong with Unions. They must go. Sorry folks it's 2010 and no one is employing kids, paying sub minimum wage and taking away your "rights" exactly which rights arey ou people talking about anyway?
    Unions are useless and a burden in 2010, there time came and went.

    August 9, 2010 at 21:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. paul

    ERECTIONS , big wages, holidays, teacher confrences days, on and on and on, i don,t think it,s those little bast$$rds that worry the teachers, it,s thier lunch break play ( ERECTIONS)

    August 9, 2010 at 21:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Jeff

    Women want coverage for birth control, men want coverage for viagra. Sounds "equal" to me.

    August 9, 2010 at 21:24 | Report abuse | Reply
    • JJ

      You must be related to Sarah Palin.

      August 9, 2010 at 21:26 | Report abuse |
  35. JJ

    Is this the same union of morons whose members all got fired in one fell swoop for incompetence?

    August 9, 2010 at 21:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. jayman419

    Viagra is neither life-saving nor medically necessary.

    August 9, 2010 at 21:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Jared

    For those of you who say that teachers should not make as much money as doctors, lawyers, etc... where would that doctor or lawyer be without the teachers he/she had in grade school and college? They didn't wake up one morning and know how to be a doctor or a lawyer, they were taught how. So, shoudn't the people who are responsible for that teaching be rewarded for it? Now, granted, med students have many more years of schooling and residency, etc. but they would not even be in med school without their teachers. People really need to start looking at what teachers really do on a daily basis, because I bet none of them would do it for the pay teachers get.

    August 9, 2010 at 21:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Jorline

    Probably better they're not around kids with there little blue boner$.

    August 9, 2010 at 22:02 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jorline

      pimf....their

      August 9, 2010 at 22:05 | Report abuse |
  39. cattibri25

    I am a teacher in my fifth year in PA. I am a part of the union but I have found that we really don't have much say when it comes to what the union decides we need. Our union just pushed though that they will pay for birth control but have upped our ER copay from $35 to $100 each time we go. It bites for those of us who do not use birth control. And now how many people will ignore serious health problems because they will hesitate over that big copay. I know many of our doctors are now so gun shy about stuff that they send people to the ER to be safe so they are not sued later. I also know that three people got together between three school districts and decided all of this with no vote from the members. When we found out about it we said we didn't want it.....but our voices didn't count. So keep that in mind before you blame the teachers. Unions are not what they used to be and many times we have no choice on what other people decide for us.

    Now granted...I do not have to be a member of the union. But the union does offer us a bit more protection from things if we are members. So I take the bad with the good....but I don't always agree with it.

    August 9, 2010 at 22:03 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ricky58

      Cattibri25,
      You are wrong in your comment. You and all members have a say so. Demand better representation that is why you and I and thousands more have banded together. If the majority will stay together on good solid issues we can be a positive force. Vote out those who do not represent the members. Lastly if the union leadership does not represent the members you could file a complaint with the DOL if the leadership will not listen to the members.

      August 9, 2010 at 22:17 | Report abuse |
  40. ricky58

    This is ridiculous, I am in a union and have been for twenty two years and we have never and will never fight for something stupid as this. Unions should fight for what is best for the majority without wasting time and money and bringing shame to the members.
    Now I see why the teachers unions are being attacked. They are fighting for something that is not best for the majority of the members.

    August 9, 2010 at 22:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Laurie

    Is this an example of our health care crisis? Insurance that won't cover Viagra? Look at Haiti and Africa if you want to see a health care crisis. Here, we expect insurance to cover Viagra for erectile dysfunction, stimulants for "ADD", sleep studies, allergy testing to see which pollen makes us sneeze. If Africa two or three patients share a bed in a hospital, and no food is provided. If our insurance didn't cover the "extras" maybe everyone could afford insurance.

    August 9, 2010 at 22:16 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bob

      Laurie, if you're going to compare us to Haiti or Africa you should just throw in the towel. I am sure you'd cry "sexism" if anyone dared question you getting birth control, hormone therapy, anti-anxiety pills, acne medication, etc., you name it.

      August 9, 2010 at 23:10 | Report abuse |
  42. Pat

    We need a recall on the entire school system. Do away with it. The tenured teachers are no darned good. The unions are crossing the line. Our schools are nothing but glorified babysitters anyway. Just imagine the taxpayer savings if schools are eliminated. Superintendents and BOEs and their graft begone! Send the kids to China or India to learn something. Will be less costly and we won't have zombie grads who can't read, write, speak or think intelligbly.

    August 9, 2010 at 22:31 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ian

      Have you met students from China and India? Yes they can read and write but they often are zombies. Would you prefer number crunching zombies or students who know how to question the status quo, try new things and be creative. Think before you vote to outsource our kids.

      August 10, 2010 at 04:27 | Report abuse |
  43. Cody

    Since when does a male teacher need an erection to do his job? If a medication is deemed necessary for a man (or any person) to perform the tasks necessary for the job, by all means provide it for them. In all of my years spent in educational institutions I have never seen a man needing an erection to perform his job. These educators need to spend more time concentrating on educating today's youth and spending less time concentrating on what is in their pants.

    August 9, 2010 at 22:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. cattibri25

    We are part of a consortium and we didn't even know about this issue until they met and voted on it....and it was literally three people. I have actually stepped now to be a rep in my building just to learn more about it and to try to keep them from doing that sort of stuff to us. The members that hold offices, for the most part, are of retirement age and do not want things to change or to rock the boat with the school board. And I understand that ....to a point. Someone who ends up using the ER at least 5 times a year between myself with massive migraines and my two boys who play sports....that copay is a worry for me. And my husband is a nurse and you would think he would have good health insurance....NOT. Mine is better.....LOL

    August 9, 2010 at 22:39 | Report abuse | Reply
    • cattibri25

      Ack! it posted my reply in a random spot....LOL!

      August 9, 2010 at 22:49 | Report abuse |
  45. Chris

    Typical liberals. I want, I want, I want. Or better yet. I'm entitled to this... gimme gimme gimme. Teacher's union might have a little bigger issues than viagra. But then in this country the other guy is supposed to pay for it.

    August 9, 2010 at 22:47 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ian

      Typical conservative response (i know better than them liberals because im right) when you don't understand what the issue is beyond the word Viagra. (perscription benefits and what should or not be covered by them) Conservatives are pretty good at spending our money to grease the hands of their allies overseas and their corporate supporters.

      August 10, 2010 at 04:33 | Report abuse |
  46. Aloha

    Hawaii taxes medical visits, procedures and prescription meds. Go to a doctor, have a $200.00 bill and GET tax is added to your bill. My Insurance does not cover this tax. It is all out of my pocket. Maybe I should sue my insurance carrier.....

    August 9, 2010 at 22:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. DownwithDems

    Living in WI, it is clear that this is something we honestly don't need. The teachers union is a joke and they parade around public schools wearing pins and using their "teaching" time to voice their opinions. I'm sure they'll have their pro viagra pins on tuesday.

    August 9, 2010 at 22:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. TheXDude

    I guess the Wisconsin Fair Employment Act is supposed to recognize "Limp Dicks" as an official group now.

    August 9, 2010 at 22:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. jumz

    To those who thing not covering Viagra is sexist, and that anti-depressants and birth control are similar, you are completely wrong. First, people who are actually depressed (not those who are feeling down, and get prescribed an anti-depressant bc they won't go for counseling, which is more effective for mild depression), they are UNABLE TO FUNCTION without medication and therapy. Many run the risk of suicide, cannot work (and no, it's not that they just don't want to, they physically cannot), their families are ruined. A 50 year old man can suck it up if he can't have sex, but these people cannot. That said, I understand the difficulties of ED, and dont want to minimize them, just want to say that these are NOT equal.
    As far as birth control, this has nothing to do with quality of life, it has to do with preventing an abortion or the birth of a child who will be unwanted and unloved. Children are for those who are ready and able to support one. Birth control is NECESSARY.
    Second, for saying it's sexist–there is no female equivalent to viagra. I don't get how its sexist. It does suck that men need a lot to go right (emotionally and physiologically) to get it up, but not covering viagra isn't sexist.

    August 9, 2010 at 22:53 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bob

      Jumz, you're ignorant fool. Yeah, "impotent men" should "suck it up", huh? I guess not being physically able to be intimiate with a wife of 30 years is no big deal., right? I mean that can't possibly compare to the "NECESSITY" of some dumb teenager having the birth control pill so she can have meanlingless sex with dozens of partners (without negative consequences, other than VD or AIDS)? We wouldn't want them to have to "suck it up" and abstain or practice monogomy and/or safe sex, would we? You're a complete boob..

      August 9, 2010 at 23:04 | Report abuse |
  50. Mark Aurelius

    The unions will face stiff opposition from taxpayers who claim they are getting the shaft. Expressing feelings of isolation from angry parents some male teachers have said they will look to their members for comfort. As we await a climax to this story, negotiators from both sides hope the other will come to their way of thinking.

    August 9, 2010 at 22:55 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6

Leave a Reply to malaraquin


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

Advertisement
About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.