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My Point of View: DHS overpayments need to be looked into

My Point of View, By John Forman

The editorial on Department of Human Services overpayments brings us to a dilemma. The editorial suggests using the expected overpayment of taxes by Minnesota residents to pay back the overpayments made to counties by DHS. I believe the original payments were also taxpayer dollars. I think more investigation is needed into the cause of these overpayments and to see if any county activity caused these overpayments. Were county officials taking advantage of problems at DHS to get larger than allowed payments?

John Forman

We are talking about paying back overpayments to DHS, but what about paying back overpayment charged taxpayers in Minnesota. Why is the response to overpayment of taxes, “How can we spend it?” rather than, “Let’s give it back.” Do we always have to be in the top 10 for taxes among the states. Have you noticed the number of articles that list Minnesota as one of the worst states to retire to due to taxes? You may recall that Freeborn County has a high percentage of retired people who are adversely effected by these taxes.

I find it interesting the number pf people who are making moral judgments against Mayo for participating in a joint venture with Saudi Arabia. How is this joint venture any different from our local group offering to buy a building so Mercy from Mason City can put a facility in Albert Lea? Are the people of Saudi Arabia to be denied a state-of-the-art facility in their country because Mayo decided to consolidate services in southern Minnesota?

A study was quoted that showed higher mortality rates in rural areas for pregnancy as a reason Albert lea needs a hospital. The study did not give the location of areas in rural communities that caused this increase, but it would be safe to assume that lower population states with large distances between cities would skew some of these numbers and would not apply to our area. The study did say that one of the causes was less per-natal care caused by travel distance to care. This does not apply to Albert Lea since care is still available at the local clinic, and Austin is only 20 miles away. I can remember when one of the selling points for moving to Albert Lea was that it is only 60 miles from the best medical care in the world. I try to stay neutral in the hospital issue as I can see the need for alternative services to save insurance costs for local businesses, but why is Mayo consolidation of services for cost savings a moral issue when all businesses do the same to protect their bottom line? Mayo is a not-for-profit hospital, clinic, research and teaching facility that satisfies needs that are important not only to Albert Lea but to the rest of our country and to some extent the world. I think the old saying, “You can’t see the forest for the trees,” could apply to some of the arguments here.

Were you expecting a comment on impeachment? That is yesterday’s news. The mostly partyline vote says everything we need to know about this issue. Now, most of the comments I hear are about the FBI, and how do they get their reputation back after the documentation of over a dozen lies and half truths in FISA warrant applications to spy on U.S. citizens. They assumed Hilary would win, and they could continue the slipshod practices that were developed during the Obama Administration, so they didn’t have time to cover up their mistakes.

John Forman is a member of the Freeborn County Republican Party.