"And the reason is because businesses are going to be forced to make choices whether to employ people or pay this tax. The Chamber feels that we have to stop the Health Insurance Tax in order to keep progress we have made in West Virginia still going. The cost of insurance in the private marketplace is going to go up.
"If we cannot afford to provide health insurance, the bottom line is, we will not be providing health insurance."
She said that would be counter to the supposed purpose of the federal act - making health care accessible to more people.
Jane Cline, former state insurance commissioner and director of public policy for Spilman Thomas and Battle, noted the effect the tax would have on senior citizens.
"West Virginia is one of the most aged populations in the state. We're 49th in per capita income. We need to start thinking about what this does to West Virginia senior citizens," Cline said.
"They talk about the subsidies through the exchange, but the monies to pay for the subsidies are really coming in the form of these hidden taxes that people are not aware of."
Attendees were encouraged to write to local representatives requesting the repeal of the Health Insurance Tax.
Susman said Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., has cosponsored a bill to repeal the tax and Rep. David McKinley, R-W.Va., sponsored an earlier version.
The Stop the HIT Coalition is a national group that has organized meetings throughout the state to spread awareness and call for the repeal of the tax.
It represents small business owners, their employees and the self-employed who are interested in working to repeal the tax. For more information, visit http://www.stopthehit.com/home.