It’s happening?

About eight years ago, the FEHBlog attended a NASCAR race in Richmond Virginia. Dale Earnhardt Jr was driving a beautiful car with an etching of Elvis on the hood.  That is the essence of America. In any event, I learned from another race fan that this was the last race before the championship series and the only way that Junior could make the chase would be for him to place at least third and for two other drivers did not finish. Toward the end of the race, Junior was in third place and the two other drivers were in the pits with engine problems.  Junior’s fan in my section screamed, “It’s happening” and Junior promptly crashed.  The other two drivers wound up finishing. In other words, it’s not over until it’s over.

That lesson came to mind this morning when the FEHBlog read the Hill’s headline that Congress is on the verge of delaying the 40% excise tax on high cost employer sponsored health plans for two years (from 2018 to 2020).  The reports notes significantly that

The White House has opposed repealing the tax, but officials have signaled that President Obama would not veto the package over a two-year delay.

A two year delay would be a big relief for FEHBP carriers and other employer group health plan sponsors and insurers.

Here’s a link to the latest Hill article on the appropriations and tax extender bill negotiations. “Negotiators were settling the final details of the deal late Tuesday, setting up a House vote as soon as Thursday.”  The whole enchilada should be wrapped up this week. Congress likely will need another brief extension of the continuing resolution funding the federal government in order to complete its work.