Colorado Medicaid paid for Viagra, other drugs for five sex offenders | SummitDaily.com
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Colorado Medicaid paid for Viagra, other drugs for five sex offenders

DENVER ” Colorado’s Medicaid program spent $2,000 supplying Viagra and other impotence drugs to five registered sex offenders, officials said Tuesday.

State officials compiled the numbers after a survey by the Associated Press two weeks ago showed that nearly 800 convicted sex offenders in 14 other states got Medicaid-funded prescriptions for impotence drugs.

“The fact that our system is so loose and so ad-hoc that it would allow sex offenders to receive sexual enhancers at public expense is not that surprising, but is outrageous nonetheless,” said state Sen. Dan Grossman, D-Denver.

The state Department of Health Care Policy and Financing, which runs the Medicaid health insurance program for the poor, paid $2,013 for Viagra and similar drugs for the five registered offenders from July 1, 2003, through March 31, spokeswoman Rhonda Bentz said.

The majority of the cases in the Associated Press survey were in New York, Florida and Texas. New York officials, acting on a tip, were the first to uncover the practice.

That prompted the federal government, which provides funds for Medicaid, to order states to take steps to stop the coverage for offenders.

Bentz said the Colorado Medicaid program will receive regular updates of the sex-offender registry from the Department of Public Safety to avoid paying for impotence drugs.

Sex offenders can continue to receive the drugs if they or another insurance provider pay, she said.

Grossman, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and a member of the Appropriations Committee, said it appeared the department took the appropriate steps.

“We need to do everything in our power to make sure that (sex offenders) are not getting these drugs at taxpayer expense,” he said. “There’s some argument that they don’t need them even at their own expense.”

The states that provided registered sex offenders with subsidized impotence drugs are Florida, 218 cases; New York, 198; Texas, 191; New Jersey, 55; Virginia, 52; Missouri, 26; Kansas, 14; Ohio, 13; Michigan, seven; Maine, five; Georgia, three; Montana, three; Alabama, two; and North Dakota, one. That comes to 788 cases. The time surveyed varied widely among the states, from six months to five years.

DENVER ” An Indonesian woman brought to Colorado by a Saudi Arabian couple was allegedly paid less than the equivalent of $2 a day over four years to cook, clean and care for their five children and was sometimes loaned out to work for four other families when her host family traveled.

According to court documents released Monday, the woman told investigators that she worked seven days a week with no regular days off from 2000 to 2004 while living with the family of Homaidan Al-Turki in suburban Aurora.

The rest of the time she was confined to an unheated basement where she slept on a mattress on the concrete floor and was allegedly repeatedly sexually assaulted by Al-Turki, according to an affidavit from FBI special agent Jon Bibik.


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