U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt was in Chillicothe Saturday morning and visited with a few community members and toured the new Hedrick Medical Center.

U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt was in Chillicothe Saturday morning and visited with a few community members and toured the new Hedrick Medical Center. Following the tour, he talked about the Affordable Health Care Act and the Marketplace Fairness Act. “One big lesson from the Affordable Health Care Act is, probably, you’ve got to remember the law of unintended consequences,” the senator said. “Nobody, I’m sure, intended that this would drive people to part-time employment.” Blunt said that it was interesting that when the government told employers what they had to do in the way of providing health insurance, it also told them what they didn’t have to do. “So, you have local governments and all kinds of businesses all over the country that, for a long time, provided health care coverage because it was the right thing to do and the competitive thing to do,” he said. “But suddenly, the government says, by the way, if they work less than 30 hours you don’t have any obligation to do this.” Matt Wenzel, Hedrick Medical Center’s CEO, said that what employees are doing is enrolling in health care plans that have lower premiums. However, the plans with lower premiums have higher deductibles and employees aren’t necessarily budgeting for the higher deductibles. “They just pay a smaller premium and if something happens, it’s a big whack,” Wenzel said. “So, what happens is the providers... have a hard time collecting that because people don’t budget accordingly. I can understand why that is, but that is a consequence.” Blunt also talked about Marketplace Fairness Act dealing with the use tax that is owed on anything purchased over the internet. “You actually owe this tax,” he said. “Under state law, you owe this tax, it’s called a use tax on anything you buy over the internet and gets shipped to your house. Last year, apparently 300 people had things shipped to their house because that’s how many people paid the tax.”

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