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Birth Of Quads Spurs Generosity, Anger

March 21, 1992

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) _ When Julie Salazar gave birth to quadruplets some people wanted to help. But others were outraged that she wasn’t married and her kids may cost the state Medicaid program more than $1 million.

Offers of assistance began pouring in after Albuquerque’s Presbyterian Hospital called a news conference Tuesday to announce that the four boys had been born the day before.

″We’ve had a flood of phone calls from people wishing to donate money and clothing and baby goods to this family,″ said hospital spokeswoman Lynn Villella.

But after the Albuquerque Journal reported Thursday that the 22-year-old woman was on Medicaid, wasn’t married, had been taking a fertility drug and her sons’ health care could top $1 million, angry calls began to pour in.

Medicaid officials fielded about two dozen calls on Thursday and Friday, said Ed Baca, a spokesman for the state’s Human Services Department.

The Albuquerque Journal said it also received several calls.

″Why do they give fertility pills to people who have no visible means of support?″ asked Sami Bartholomew, who called the newspaper.

Medicaid administrator Larry Martinez said the state program is required to provide eligible women with any family planning drug requested.

The boys’ father, Rafael Salazar, said the mother qualified for Medicaid after she had to quit work three months into her pregnancy.

Martinez said the cost of treating the children could run as high as $1.2 million. The boys were born about 2 1/2 months prematurely, and three are on machines to aid their breathing.

The boys, who weighed in at about 2 pounds apiece, are all expected to survive.

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