On Sept. 13, New York Governor Pataki signed an amendment to the Health Care Reform Act. The new law establishes state insurance department guarantees of "affordable health insurance to thousands of uninsured New Yorkers in the entertainment and arts industries."
Initiated by the Actors' Fund, the amendment was proposed by Pataki.
Actresses Jane Powell and Lea Thompson were on hand to celebrate the signing and to thank Pataki in a ceremony at the Actors' Fund's Aurora Residence on W. 57 St.
According to an Actor's Fund statement, the new program, titled Healthy New York, is "a part of the landmark Health Care Reform Act of 2000. Beginning in January of 2001, Healthy New York creates a new state sponsored health insurance program for eligible working uninsured individuals. The new program will make affordable health insurance benefits accessible for hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers by providing health insurance coverage to eligible small businesses for their employees. Eligible working uninsured individuals can also purchase the same streamlined benefits package available to employees of small businesses. The benefits will be available initially through HMO's and other insurers approved by the State Insurance Department.
-- By Murdoch McBride