According to this Wall Street Journal report, the Administration announced this week that the Treasury Department is expected to reach the bottom of its bag of tricks on November 5.  Congress needs to raise the debt limit by that date. Consequently, we have now have two panic dates — November 5 and December 11, which is the date that the current continuing resolution expires. Congress will be back in session next week. Here is a link to The Week in Congress report on this week’s activities on Capitol Hill.

The Wall Street Journal also reports today that momentum is building to repeal the 40% excise tax on high cost, employer sponsored health coverage. In a pleasant surprise, the Hill reports that Congress has passed, and the President will sign, an amendment to the ACA that will limit the small group health insurance pricing rules to groups with no more than 50 employees. Absent that this agreement, the ACA would have boosted the upper threshold to 100 employees. This is a big savings for employers in the 51 to 100 employee group. So there is hope that this crazy excise tax will be repealed.

Following up on yesterday’s post, take a look at this Healthcare Dive article on the disruption that the ICD-10 is likely to cause over time.

Finally and because the FEHBlog is not a Luddite, the FEHBlog was impressed that Walgreens, according to Medcity News, is partnering with MDLive to add a telemedicine feature to its popular app.