'Baby Your Baby' program under fire over Social Security numbers


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SALT LAKE CITY -- Utah's "Baby Your Baby" program is coming under fire over 9-digit numbers assigned to uninsured women. Turns out they could be Social Security numbers belonging to real people.

In 2008, an undocumented pregnant woman at the Westview Women's and Family Medical Center in Salt Lake City was given the Social Security number of Maine police officer Ricky Bonneau.

"To look at this, it certainly has the outward appearance of a social security number," said Bonneau.

The number was given to the woman as an ID number to receive benefits from Baby Your Baby. The program grants uninsured pregnant women Medicaid insurance to cover as much as two months of care.

For Bonneau, it's now cause for unease.

"I don't believe that anything was ever jeopardized there, but it's kind of an oddity," he said.

It's also part of a larger legal matter between the center and the state.

"The state of Utah has alleged the clinic and its owners were complicit in this and were aware of it," said attorney Sam Meziani. "Our position is we had a rogue employee."

Meziani the state is covering.

"It's obviously not working," he said. "It formed the basis for claims against our clinic, which we believe are unfounded."

State officials would not comment on anything that's part of an active investigation, but they're flatly denying the allegation that they're secretly sneaking in illegal immigrant women to the program.

"No one in our organization encourages people to somehow defraud the system," said Michael Hales.

Email: aadams@ksl.com

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