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 BarrassoOvernight Energy: Gillibrand offers bill to ban pesticide from school lunches | Interior secretary met tribal lawyer tied to Zinke casino dispute | Critics say EPA rule could reintroduce asbestos use GOP senator issues stark warning to Republicans on health care Judd Gregg: In praise of Mike Enzi MORE (R-Wyo.), Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerOn The Money: Cain withdraws from Fed consideration | Says he didn't want 'pay cut' | Trump sues to block subpoena for financial records | Dems plot next move in Trump tax-return battle McConnell pledges to be 'Grim Reaper' for progressive policies Cain withdraws from Fed consideration MORE (R-Colo.), Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne Shaheen2020 Dems back repeal of controversial New Hampshire voting law New Hampshire senator to ask 2020 Dems to back repeal of state residency law Embattled senators fill coffers ahead of 2020 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.