Vacuum Erection Devices May Be Removed From Medicare Coverage

In a 404-17 vote, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that would prohibit Medicare coverage for vacuum erection systems, a common treatment for erectile dysfunction (ED).

The bill, called the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act (???), passed on December 3rd and will next be reviewed by the Senate.

Vacuum erection systems, sometimes called vacuum erection devices (VEDs), include a plastic cylinder and a vacuum pump. When a man wishes to have an erection, he places the cylinder over his penis and activates a pump. The resulting vacuum creates an erection.

While ED medications are a more common treatment, they are not covered by Medicare. VEDs have provided an alternative for men who cannot afford ED drugs. They also work well for men who are unable to take pills for ED because of potential interactions with other drugs.