By Elise Viebeck - 03/19/13 04:10 PM EDT
Sens. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) are winning praise for a bill to kill the Affordable Care Act's tax on health insurance.
The lawmakers reintroduced the measure Tuesday, arguing that the healthcare law is weighing heavily on the economy.
The bill's introduction comes alongside a new industry report saying the coverage tax will cost 146,000 to 262,000 jobs by 2022, with the majority of losses hitting small businesses.
The National Federation of Independent Business, which produced that report, praised the bill along with the health insurance lobby.
"Taxing health insurance makes it more expensive, and that is the opposite of what health care reform was supposed to accomplish," said America's Health Insurance Plans President Karen Ignani in a statement.
"Families and small businesses simply cannot afford to pay an additional $100 billion sales tax on their health insurance at a time when they are already struggling to keep up with rising medical costs."
Supporters of the tax say it's necessary to ensure the healthcare law does not increase the deficit, and that insurers can manage given their profit margins.
Barrasso and Hatch previously introduced the bill in November 2011.
Reps. Charles Boustany (R-La.) and Jim Matheson (D-Utah) introduced similar House legislation last month.