Small Business Health Insurance Plans
Posted by on August 16, 2013
The Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) is a new program that simplifies the process of buying health insurance for small businesses. The SHOP program enrollment launches on October 1 to give small businesses new ways to provide health coverage to their employees. To learn about how SHOP can work for your small business, visit: https://www.healthcare.gov/small-businesses/

Benefits of the SHOP Marketplace
You can get high-quality coverage: All SHOP plans offer your employees a set of 10 comprehensive benefits. They cover things like pre-existing conditions, pregnancy, hospitalizations, doctor's visits, preventive care, prescriptions, and more.

You control coverage and costs: The SHOP Marketplace makes it easy to discover and compare your insurance options. You control the coverage you offer and how much you pay toward employee premiums. And you may qualify for a tax credit worth up to 50% of your premium costs.

Coverage is available in every state: No matter what state you do business in, you’ll have access to the SHOP Marketplace.  Find the SHOP Marketplace that serves you

Are you self-employed? You qualify for the Health Insurance Marketplace for individuals and families instead of the SHOP program.

You can also call to ask a customer service representative about small business insurance at 1-800-706-7893 or (TTY: 1-800-706-7915 ). The call center is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST.

Do you plan on checking out the small business plans?  What concerns do you have about the new health plans? Have you had trouble finding affordalbe insurance before now due to age or preexisting condition?
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Recent Grant Announcements
Posted by on August 15, 2013
These grant announcements are just a few that were recently announced for Georgia.  If you are interested to know more about federal grant applications, please visit Congressman Scott's grant page at: http://davidscott.house.gov/constituentservices/grants.htm 

On August 15, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced grant awards to health care Navigator grant applicants.  These Navigator grantees and their staff will serve as an in-person resources for Americans who want additional assistance in shopping for and enrolling in plans in the
Health Insurance Marketplace beginning this fall. Two grantees in Georgia were announced.  The Structured Employment Economic Development Corporation (SEEDCO) will receive an anticipated grant amount of $2,159,360 and  the University of Georgia will receive an anticipated grant amount of $1,657,378.  UGAs College of Family and Consumer Sciences and Cooperative Extension Service plans to place navigators in several offices outside the Atlanta metro region to create awareness through community workshops, engage a network of existing partners to reach uninsured Georgia residents and provide direct services to consumers seeking assistance.

August 9.  Georgia will benefit from $3.2 million in affordable housing funding from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta. The grants will assist in funding seven affordable housing projects in Georgia including the YWCA of Northwest Georgia Renovation Project, the Albany AME Bethel Housing Complex, and the Ashley House redevelopment and preservation project in Valdosta.  The funds will go toward building renovations, property improvements, and new construction.
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Student Loan Agreement
Posted by on August 12, 2013
Congress finally found a reason to agree on something - student loan rates.  Democrats and Republicans passed a bipartisan bill that will keep student loan interest rates low for borrowers. H.R. 1911, the Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act of 2013, passed the House by a vote of 392-31 and on August 9 was signed into law (P.L.113-28) by the President.  Congressman Scott supported this compromise.

The law will cut rates on all new loans this year and save a typical undergraduate $1,500 over the life of those loans. The plan allows borrowers to benefit from the current low interest rates and guarantees that borrowers are able to lock in these rates over the life of their loans. In the future, fixed rates would be determined each year by market conditions, helping ensure that borrowers’ rates are more in line with the government’s own cost of borrowing, while capping how high rates can rise.

Lower Interest Rates Now: Under the compromise plan, nearly 11 million borrowers will see their interest rates decrease on new loans after July 1, 2013. About 8.8 million undergraduate borrowers will see their rates on new loans drop from 6.8 to 3.86 percent, and about 1.5 million Graduate Unsubsidized Stafford borrowers will see their rates drop on new loans from 6.8 percent to 5.41 percent. And over 1 million GradPLUS and Parent PLUS borrowers will see their rates on new loans drop from 7.9 percent to 6.41 percent. 
Protections Against High Rates: The plan caps how high student loan interest rates can rise which protects students against future economic conditions. Undergraduate loans are capped at 8.25 percent, graduate loans at 9.5 percent, and PLUS loans at 10.5 percent. These loans also include fixed interest rates over the life of the loan, protecting students from the risk that rates will fluctuate over time and providing certainty for borrowers. 

Are you going to refinance your student loans?  What concerns do you have about student loans?
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Congressman David Scott Applauds Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Grant Award for Clayton County Juvenile Court
Posted by on August 05, 2013
Today Congressman David Scott is pleased to congratulate the Clayton County Juvenile Court in securing $499,723 in grant funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Forward Promise initiative. 

Forward Promise is a newly created program by the Foundation that promotes innovative, community-based projects working to strengthen health, education, and employment outcomes for middle school- and high school-aged boys and young men of color. 

“I am confident this grant award will help continue the nationally-acclaimed work that Clayton’s Juvenile Court Chief Judge Steve Teske is undertaking,” Congressman Scott said. “Judge Teske’s tireless efforts to reduce recidivism have resulted in fewer referrals to the criminal justice system, and consequently, higher graduation rates and fewer school arrests among juveniles in Clayton County.  I am proud to partner with Judge Teske to identify key resources, like federal grants and private funding, that allow him to enhance his vital initiatives to divert juvenile offenders into community-based programs rather than locking them up.”

The Clayton County Juvenile Court is one of ten grantees nationwide selected from over 1,500 applications.  The funding will support the Court’s System of Care Approach Project, which provides alternatives to the juvenile court system for troubled youth.  Under Judge Teske’s leadership, the Court has gained national attention and become a model for the State of Georgia.

For guidance and resources to help eligible grantseekers find information on federal grants, loans, and nonfinancial assistance, as well as on private funding, please contact Congressman David Scott’s Office at 770/432-5405.
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Flag Day
Posted by on June 14, 2013
Today is Flag Day, which is celebrated annually on June 14th to honor the history of the United States flag. Our flag represents hope, courage and freedom to all Americans.

A constituent contacted me once to point out the discrepancy in the US Flag Code in that Mothers Day was an official day to fly the flag, but Fathers Day was not. I introduced a bill to officially commemorate Fathers Day by flying the flag and it was passed through Congress without opposition (P.L. No: 110-239). So, fly Old Glory today and on this coming Fathers Day!

-Order a flag to be flown over the US Capitol: http://www.davidscott.house.gov/Forms/FlagRequest/

-A short history of the US flag can be found at the Smithsonian website: http://www.si.edu/Encyclopedia_SI/nmah/flag.htm

-Flag Code on time and occasions for display: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode04/usc_sec_04_00000006----000-.html

What does the flag mean to you?
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Student Loan Rates Could Increase on July 1st
Posted by on May 31, 2013
Over $1 trillion in student loan debt is being carried by American families. If Congress fails to act by July 1st, that debt could become more burdensome. On that date, interest rates for student loans are set to double from 3.4% to 6.8%, placing an even heavier burden on students.

Failure to act will add $4.3 billion to students’ debt burden for next year’s loans alone. The House Republicans recently passed a partisan bill that does not help families pay their loans. The bill, H.R. 1911, would make college more expensive by charging students and families nearly $4 billion more in higher interest payments. The legislation would also force students into loans with interest rates that reset every year of the loan, similar to adjustable-rate mortgages. For more information about the bill, click here.

Congress needs to go back to the table and find bi-partisan agreement on stopping the loan increases.  Are you having trouble paying student loans?  Add your comments below. 
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JOBS Act bill passes house
Posted by on May 22, 2013
On May 15, a bipartisan majority of the House of Representatives voted 416-6 in favor of passing H.R. 701. Congressman Scott is an original sponsor of H.R. 701, which requires the SEC to implement Title IV of the JOBS Act (P.L. 112—106) by October 31. Title IV requires the SEC to adopt or amend regulations that encourage capital formation for small businesses through a currently under-used provision of securities law known as Regulation A. Under Regulation A, the JOBS Act increased the capital that small companies an raise from $5 million to $50 million. 

The JOBS Act was enacted in 2012 and several provisions are being implemented through proposed agency regulations.  Congressman Scott is a member of the House Financial Services Committee, which has oversight of the SEC and other financial market regulators. You can review the SEC's website on the JOBS Act online at: http://www.sec.gov/spotlight/jobs-act.shtml Do you have any thoughts or concerns about implementing the JOBS Act?
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Have VA Problems?
Posted by on May 02, 2013
Recent news reports in the AJC and WSB-TV have reported on major problems at the Atlanta VA center in Decatur.  In response to the inspector general's report, Congressman Scott joined with his colleagues in demanding a review of the facility.  On a related note, his office has been working with an increasing number of local veterans who are having problems with backlogs at the VA. 

What are your experiences with the VA?  Are you experiencing delays or backlogs?  Are the local facilities meeting your needs?  Is your medical care being handled well and with respect?  Congressman Scott would like to hear from you.  Please comment below or call the office if you need assistance.
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Looking for work? What challenges are you facing?
Posted by on April 03, 2013
On April, 19, Congressman Scott hosts his annual Job Fair.  This event is open to the public at-large and a diverse group of employers have signed up to attend.

If you have been looking for work or have been unemployed for a while, what challenges are you facing in finding a new job?  Share your experiences with others so that we can better understand how to match job seekers with employers. 

Earlier, we asked employers what challenges they are facing in hiring new employees.  You may want to read their responses to that question.
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Employers - what are your hiring challenges?
Posted by on March 08, 2013
Today, a strong jobs report was announced. The positive trend shows continued economic growth for America.  However, there are still a lot of uncertainties that may be holding employers back from expanding their payrolls. There may still be a mismatch between the number of unemployed and companies that cannot find qualified candidates. 

Whether you represent a small business, or a large company, you may have difficulties filling positions with qualified applicants.  There are many resources available to you which may help you fill your employment needs. 

On April 19, Congressman Scott hosts his annual 13th Congressional District Jobs Fair at the GICC in College Park.  This event usually attracts between 8,000 - 10,000 job seekers. We are currently seeking additional employers to attend and meet with potential hires.  There is no charge to have a representative at the event. 

As an employer or supervisor, what challenges are you having with filling slots on your team?  What advice would you give to people who are currently unemployed?  Please comment below to share your experiences and share your thoughts. 
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