Judge Coughlin Acts to Protect Public Aid Recipients

December 2004
Colorado's new $200 million computer system for public aid recipients has been a disaster. Citizens of our state are going hungry needlessly. In addition to those receiving food stamps, the backlog of cases has affected those enrolled in Colorado Child Health Plan Plus and Medicaid. Something had to be done, and Tuesday, Denver District Court Judge John Coughlin stepped up to the plate. He ordered the state to create an emergency system to help those in dire need. He also set a schedule:
He gave the state a Feb. 28 deadline to reduce by 40 percent those backlogged cases out of compliance with federal and state requirements, with a further reduction of 40 percent every 60 days after that until "substantial compliance" is reached.
The Judge promised further court action if the reductions don't materialize. This is reminiscent of United's baggage system woes when DIA first opened. But food and medical services are far more critical than getting your luggage on time. Shouldn't someone be held accountable for spending $200 million on a computer system that doesn't work?