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It looks like the days of Medicare covering penis pumps could be coming to an end.

After an embarrassing government watchdog report last year found that Medicare was "grossly" overpaying for penis pumps, the health-care program soon probably won't be helping out seniors with their sex lives.

Elimination of the government subsidy for the erectile function devices is tied up in a House bill with pretty significant bipartisan support to create tax-advantaged bank accounts for people with disabilities. And no one's really taking a public stand to keep the penis pump subsidy alive. The House approved the bill, 404-17, on Wednesday night, and it now heads to the Senate.

Last December, the HHS Inspector General found that Medicare was paying on average $360 per device— more than twice the average price of a penis pump that can be bought by just about anybody who knows how to shop on the Internet. That led to more than a few embarrassing headlines, and a thorough skewering from "The Daily Show."

So why did the federal government cover these devices in the first place? For one, penis pumps are a legit medical treatment for people with erectile dysfunction, especially as an alternative to taking pills. As a result,Medicare covers the penis pumps — or vacuum erection systems (VES), if you want to be all scientific about it — under its durable medical equipment program, known as DMEPOS. The Inspector General report explains: "Because VES are used to treat impotence, and because impotence is a failure of the body part for which the diagnosis, and frequently the treatment, requires medical expertise, VES constitute a type of DMEPOS eligible for coverage under [Medicare] Part B."

Meanwhile, the Medicare prescription drug program has always specifically banned coverage for erectile dysfunction drugs (although, a 2011 Inspector General report found that Medicare mistakenly paid for $3.1 million worth of ED drugs in a two-year stretch).

Old people are having sex — and a lot more than you might imagine. A comprehensive 2007 New England Journal of Medicine survey on seniors' sex lives found that more than half of people 64 to 75 reported having sex with a partner in the previous year, while it was 26 percent for people ages 75 to 85. For sexually active older men, their most commonly reported issue was erection trouble (37 percent).

As that Inspector General report found, Medicare paid 473,620 claims for the devices between 2006 and 2011. With Medicare coverage, beneficiaries faced an average $90.23 co-pay for the devices, while the report found the average cost for the device sold over the Internet is $164.74. So that's about another $75 seniors will have to pay out of pocket if this benefit is eliminated. The Congressional Budget Office estimates banning the benefit will save the government $444 million over the next decade.

You can certainly argue about whether or not the government should be helping seniors' sex lives. The New York Times' aging blog earlier this year offers an interesting case for doing so and posits that there's potentially some ageist thinking at hand — that we'd rather not consider the thought that our grandparents are, in fact, doing it.