Senators urge vote on health insurance tax delay during lame-duck

A small bipartisan group of senators are urging leadership to extend a delay of ObamaCare’s health insurance tax before the end of the lame-duck session.

The health insurance tax has been criticized by Republicans and some Democrats for driving up premiums.

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Sens. John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoCentrist Democrats seize on state election wins to rail against Warren's agenda Eleven GOP senators sign open letter backing Sessions's comeback bid GOP senators discuss impeachment with Trump after House vote MORE (R-Wyo.), Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerTariffs threaten 1.5M jobs: Study This week: House kicks off public phase of impeachment inquiry Progressive veterans group launches campaign labeling Trump as a 'national security threat' MORE (R-Colo.), Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenOn The Money: US paid record .1B in tariffs in September | Dems ramp up oversight of 'opportunity zones' | Judge hints at letting House lawsuit over Trump tax returns proceed Overnight Energy: EPA watchdog slams agency chief after deputy fails to cooperate in probe | Justices wrestle with reach of Clean Water Act | Bipartisan Senate climate caucus grows Overnight Defense: Trump, Erdogan confirm White House meeting | Public impeachment hearings set for next week | Top defense appropriator retiring MORE (D-N.H.) and Doug Jones (D-Ala.) wrote in a letter to Senate leadership that they want that moratorium extended.

“Looking ahead to 2020 and beyond, it is important for Congress to continue to focus on lowering health insurance premiums,” the senators wrote.

The health insurance tax has already been suspended for 2019. In July, the House passed a bill to suspend the tax for 2020 and 2021, though Democrats attacked it for being a political exercise ahead of the midterm elections.

Democrats said the House bill, which was not paid for, would have very little impact on lowering premiums. 

Repealing or further delaying the tax during the lame-duck is a key priority for the insurance lobby, America’s Health Insurance Plans.