On Thursday, Minnesota Senators passed a bill that will authorize medical providers to give prescriptions for erectile dysfunction (ED) through online consultations.

While much of the focus has been on the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Senators Jeff Howe and Jim Abeler proposed the bill, stating that it is aimed at veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Howe argued that addressing the ED issue veterans suffer due to PTSD could help reduce suicidal rates.

The Legislature was mainly focusing on supporting and passing bills related to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the timing of a Special Order vote on the passing the erectile dysfunction bill, which was initially proposed in 2019, raised a few eyebrows from lawmakers, including Senator Jeff Hayden.

Hayden suggested that there are currently more pressing, pandemic-related issues to be faced by lawmakers rather than passing the ED bill.

However, it can be argued that the ED bill has relevance due to its association with telemedicine, which has become increasingly important during the current lockdown.

Hayden argued that the ED bill could have formed part of an omnibus bill instead of getting its own debate. He suggested that it would be a better use of their time to focus on helping people and businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The ED bill was passed by a bipartisan vote of 63-3. Only a few Democrats, including Hayden, voted against the bill.

A Senate DFL source said that the party believes all Minnesota residents should get access to the care they need.

The course said the party would primarily focus on addressing the health care gaps during the ongoing coronavirus crisis, including COVID-19 treatment coverage for uninsured patients, helping Critical Access Dental providers, and supporting disability service providers.

A Senate GOP spokesperson told Bring Me The News (BMTN), “COVID-19 related bills are still a priority, but the ED bill was already destined for a floor vote prior to the emergency and early recess being declared.”

“We’re sort of picking up where we left off,” the spokesperson added, noting that expanded telemedicine options is also “something that seems relevant given the current situation.” The article originally appeared on BMTN, which is a one-stop-shop for the most important, interesting and entertaining news and sports happening in Minnesota.