LETTER: Theft -- or honest mistake?

Now that the state has completed its audit of the Perkins School health insurance dilemma, where does it go from here? Had this been
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010

Now that the state has completed its audit of the Perkins School health insurance dilemma, where does it go from here? Had this been one or two people profiting from this system, then yes, throw the book at them because there is glaringly something wrong. This, however was 14 people over seven years. What is not stated in the article is what percentage of total paid benefits and/or total medical expenses these overpayments resulted from. Odds are that these people didn't quite understand all the policies and procedures of the plan -- but then, does anyone completely understand their own?

Sure, the prosecutor has a duty to determine whether or not this was done knowingly and maliciously, but dragging on this investigation longer than it has dollar-wise will dwarf the disputed amount when done. This whole episode in my opinion compares to an income tax audit. If you unknowingly benefit for something that you shouldn't receive, then you pay it back with a penalty. Pay a penalty of either interest on the money over time received or treat the overpayments like income and pay a penalty equivalent to the tax.

For those who want to chastise them based on higher standards because of their profession, then take a look at our former Governor Taft or some of our current Obama cabinet appointees with similar tax and/or ethical issues. Mistakes were made, let's move on-- these are not criminals.

Finally, when the Register does run an editorial on this issue, where will it stand? Judging by the heading of "Health Insurance Scam", we have a strong hint.

Jeff Kerst

Sandusky