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 BarrassoHouse votes to block drilling in Arctic refuge Lobbying World Meet the Democratic senator trying to negotiate gun control with Trump MORE (R-Wyo.), Cory GardnerCory Scott Gardner The 13 Republicans needed to pass gun-control legislation Bolton returns to political group after exiting administration The Hill's Morning Report — Trump's hurricane forecast controversy won't go away MORE (R-Colo.), Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenOvernight Defense: Dems grill Trump Army, Air Force picks | House chair subpoenas Trump Afghanistan negotiator | Trump officials release military aid to Ukraine Defense spending bill advances over Democratic wall objections Democrats ramp up calls to investigate NOAA 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.