|COVID-19 Update | November 22, 2020
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I am encouraged by the news of another potential COVID-19 vaccine.
With a safe and effective vaccine, we can:
Central Arkansans have displayed their resiliency while weathering the storm of COVID-19 but are in critical need of additional support. Congress needs bipartisan leadership to provide this essential relief to our constituents, and House Democrats, led by Nancy Pelosi, are not rising to this challenge.
This week, I took to the House floor to urge Speaker Pelosi to put politics aside and put people first.
Our primary objectives must be helping workers as the holidays approach by expanding and extending the Paycheck Protection Program, implementing PPP forgiveness, and providing pandemic unemployment payments that help families, while also encouraging work.
We must also increase spending flexibility for states for funding from the CARES Act including moving the deadline for spending these funds from December 31, 2020, to a date in 2021.
We cannot let the perfect be the enemy of the good. I hope Speaker Pelosi and Democratic Leadership listen to the urgency of our citizens’ needs and call focused relief legislation to the House floor without any further partisan delay.
As an active proponent of apprenticeship programs in Arkansas and across the country, I am deeply disappointed that H.R. 8294 fails to include House Republicans’ push for employer-driven innovation and new models for apprenticeship programs.
In its current form, the National Apprenticeship Act limits job growth by injecting bureaucratic hurdles into the apprenticeship process. While both Democrats and Republicans agree that we need to provide good jobs to the American people, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democratic Leadership have refused to consider common-sense reforms to the registered apprenticeship program. This type of partisan showmanship has greatly limited the momentum towards a solution and as a result, Arkansas families are paying the price.
To address the flaws of the current system, Republicans built on the framework of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act and have proposed new, dynamic programs that promote employer-driven innovation. I urge my Democratic colleagues to reconsider their partisan stance and embrace this opportunity to provide lasting benefits to all Americans.
Read my full thoughts in my op-ed in the Washington Examiner.
This week, my team helped welcome U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler when he came to visit Little Rock. Also joining Administrator Wheeler were Arkansas Rep. Jack Ladyman, Arkansas Department of Energy and Environment Secretary Becky Keogh, and Arkansas Sen. Missy Thomas Irvin.
The group visited Heifer Village and Urban Farm, which strives to implement fresh food, water, and shelter in impoverished communities worldwide. They also visited and discussed the Pulaski County Brownfields, including rain drains installed in downtown Little Rock.
By supporting initiatives such as these, we can take steps to beautify both Arkansas and the globe.
Right now, you can enroll in or change your 2021 Marketplace health insurance. The Open Enrollment Period runs from November 1, 2020 - December 15, 2020. Plans purchased during this period will start on January 1, 2021.
If you do not complete your enrollment by Tuesday, December 15th, you cannot get 2021 coverage unless you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.
• Create an account HERE
• Update your application and compare plans for 2021 HERE
• Preview 2021 plans with estimates based on income HERE
The open enrollment period is also underway for Medicare and will continue until December 7, 2020. Medicare beneficiaries can review their 2021 Medicare and prescription drug plan options and change plans if they choose. Any changes will take effect on January 1, 2021.
To compare plans or select a new one, please visit HERE or call 1-800-MEDICARE.
For more information about your current plan’s costs, benefits, and rules for 2021, please visit HERE
If you are currently covered by Medicare Advantage and/or Medicare Part D, please review the Annual Notice of Change and/or Evidence of Coverage forms that you have received from your plan.
It is important to note that open enrollment is also occurring for private and employer-based insurance and that there may be more changes than usual this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
I am proud to have a dedicated team in Arkansas who can assist you with matters involving the federal government. If you have any questions about Social Security benefits, the Internal Revenue Service, or federal healthcare programs, please contact my office at (501) 324-5941.
It is my honor to represent you in Congress.Please contact me at (501) 324-5941 or Hill.House.Gov if I may be of service to you.
Representative French Hill