LEGISLATIVE GAZETTE: BALL, PAULIN HOPE COLLEAGUES WILL SUPPORT ‘HANNAH’S LAW’

 

     

    By JOSEFA VELASQUEZ

    Hannah’s law, a bill named after an eight-year-old girl and sponsored by Sen. Greg Ball, R-Patterson, passed the Senate unanimously and was delivered to the Assembly earlier this month.

    The bill (S.2287) was named after eight-year-old Hannah Devane who suffers from eosinophilic esophagitis, a potentially fatal condition in which white blood cells build up in the esophagus, causing inflammation in the esophageal tissue making it virtually impossible to eat.

    Hannah’s law would require that every health insurance policy or contract that provides coverage for prescription drugs to cover the cost of formulas that are prescribed indefinitely as a medical necessity for the treatment of eosinophilic esophagitis.

    “Hannah is the cutest and toughest little girl I know,” Ball said. “Passing this bill again in the Senate brings New York state one step closer to ensuring that thousands of families are never again victimized by the system like the Devane family.”

    Ball first introduced the bill in May of 2008 when he was an assemblyman. Last May the bill was finally passed by the Senate but failed to make it out of the Assembly Insurance Committee and was ultimately never voted on.

    According to Ball’s office, the Devane family spends $14,000 annually on the special formula that Hannah takes orally for nourishment. Her medical insurance provider covers the cost of the formula but only when administered by a feeding tube.

    Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, D-Scarsdale, is the sponsor of the Assembly bill (A.0490).

    “This legislation is critical because it will mean that children with eosinophilic esophogitis will no longer have to use an invasive feeding tube simply because that is the one method their insurance company covers,” Paulin said.

    Jessie Devane, Hannah’s mother, thanked Ball and his staff for pushing the legislation and is urging the Assembly to follow suit. (ARTICLE)