Taxpayer-Funded Viagra?

By Varney and Co

While one school district in Milwaukee struggles with a financial crisis and hundreds of teacher layoffs, the Milwaukee Teachers' Education Association is taking an interesting stand. Teachers are fighting to get taxpayer-funded Viagra as part of their health-care coverage, a deal the union previously had.

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Today, Wisconsin State Representative Jason Fields appeared on Varney & Co. to weigh in on the issue. "I don't have a problem with people having access to medication that will enhance the quality of their lives," said Fields. "But, who will pay for this?"

Rep. Fields explained there are various other concerns in the district right now which are more important than taxpayer funded Viagra. "Wisconsin ranks as having the highest achievement gap in the country, you have teachers taking money out of their own pockets to pay for supplies, we have students who are not getting books," said Fields. "Does this make the top 50 priority list when you really think about that?"

The district originally gave layoff notices to 482 teachers in June, but recalled 89 of those teachers last month. This has been the first layoffs of Milwaukee teachers in decades.

The Union argues that the board's decision to exclude Viagra discriminates against male employees. The teachers want it restored at a cost of $800,000 per year and say it's a small amount when compared to the $1.3 billion annual budget. A ruling is not expected for months.