Who is responsible for Medicare payment priorities? Oh, I know, the Wizard of Oz. You see, the federal bureaucrats are the Wizard of Oz. They hide behind a curtain and no one knows how they operate, or whether priorities get updated as times change. The only thing we know about this Oz and the product it puts forth, is that our deficit continues to grow, and one day Medicare will suffer the same fate as the Wicked Witch of the West because of frivolous spending on coverage for things like penis pumps.  

If you can follow the Yellow Brick Road and get past the winged monkeys to figure out where all the money in the Medicare budget has gone, you deserve to be considered for a Nobel Prize – or at least a chance at meeting Oz himself. But unfortunately, like ObamaCare architect Jonathan Gruber so eloquently put it, when it comes to federal math equations, the “stupidity of the American voter” makes it easy for bureaucrats to hide it.

So it is with great delight that I am seeing Congress itself beginning to look behind the curtain and at how the Medicare dollars are being spent. When Medicare was established under President Johnson in 1965, many years after Dorothy left Kansas, the American health care system faced different issues than it does today.

In 1965, the rates of obesity, Type 2 diabetes, arthritis and degenerative joints were far lower than they are today. Heart disease is now the number one killer in the United States for both men and women. And wonderful advancements in medicine have also increased our average life expectancy.

So today, we have a very large population of Medicare recipients who, although they are living longer, require more medical attention and should be able to receive it from our government. But wasteful spending, like funding for penis pumps, will eliminate the possibilities that future generations -- which one day will be Medicare enrollees -- may have the same choices that recipients have today.

By way of an article on The Federalist I have learned that the federal government is clamping down on the amount of Medicare funds being delegated for the aforementioned penis pumps. To that I say, hooray! It is unbelievable to me, that millions of taxpayer dollars are spent on penis pumps through Medicare, and up until this point, nobody has asked why.

We have far more important issues that have more significance in the climb to improve the overall life of Americans than penis pumps, and we must start focusing on what it is important.

“With no one watching over the vast bureaucracy, the problem is not just what Washington isn’t doing, but what it is doing,” Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., said on his website about the release of his annual Wastebook 2014. “Only someone with too much of someone else’s money and not enough accountability for how it was being spent could come up [with] some of these projects.”

He’s right. I hope that this new Congress authors a “Wastebook” of its own. And then I hope that they write a sequel that focuses on the amount of wasteful spending found in Medicare and Medicaid, and how we can better allocate that money for research and treatment for our patients. It is not too late for us to find our own Good Witch of the North.

Dr. Manny Alvarez serves as Fox News Channel's senior managing health editor. He also serves as chairman of the department of obstetrics/gynecology and reproductive science at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey. Click here for more information on Dr. Manny's work with Hackensack University Medical Center. Visit AskDrManny.com for more.