Health Care

Insurers target ObamaCare's 'premium tax'

Health insurers and small businesses are pushing their long-sought goal of abolishing ObamaCare's health insurance tax as lawmakers work to repeal and replace the healthcare law.

The tax is a priority for insurers even as negotiations have centered on the ObamaCare repeal bill and federal insurance payments.

At the start of the year, Marilyn Tavenner, president and CEO of America's Health Insurance Plans, wrote a blog post calling for the repeal of the tax, and insurance company leaders have raised it in recent earnings calls, even attributing a delay in the tax this year as contributing to better-than-expected growth.

Stephen Hemsley, CEO of UnitedHealthcare, began the company's first-quarter earnings call last week by saying that affordability for customers could be most improved by repealing the tax, which he said would be shifted onto consumers in the form of higher premiums.

"We hope Congress acts soon to repeal the health insurance tax," he said. "We have no insight about whether that will or will not occur."

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