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Cuomo Signs Bill Inspired By 8-Year-Old Hannah Devane Of Yorktown

Sen. Greg Ball announced recently that Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the bill named after 8-year-old Yorktown resident Hannah Devane.
Sen. Greg Ball announced recently that Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the bill named after 8-year-old Yorktown resident Hannah Devane. Photo Credit: Courtesy Sen. Ball's Office

YORKTOWN, N.Y. -- Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently signed into law a bill named after a Yorktown girl.

Sen. Greg Ball (R,C,I-Patterson) announced recently that Cuomo signed "Hannah's Law," named after Yorktown's Hannah Devane, according to a news release. Hannah, 8, "suffers from eosinophilic esophagitis, a potentially fatal condition that makes it impossible for her to eat most foods," according to the release.

"Hannah’s medical insurance provider already provides coverage for the cost of enteral formulas, but only under conditions that require tube feeding, an extremely invasive, life-altering procedure," according to the release. "Currently the insurance companies are making parents decide between incurring the significant out-of-pocket costs for the enteral formula needed, or forcing their children to use a feeding tube."

Hannah’s Law will amend the insurance law and require some health-insurance policies to include coverage for the cost of enteral formulas for the treatment of eosinophilic esophagitis and related eosinophilic disorders, according to the release.

“I am ecstatic that after a five-years struggle this bill has been signed into law," Ball said in the release. "I would like to thank Governor Cuomo for his support as well as Assemblywomen [Amy] Paulin [D-Scarsdale] for carrying this bill in the Assembly. Most of all I would like to thank the Devane family for continuing to fight with me to pass this bill. Hannah is the cutest and toughest little girl I know and is an outstanding, giving member of our community. Thanks to this new law we have ensured that thousands of families are never again victimized by the system, like the Devane family.”

“This legislation is critical because it means that children with eosinophilic esophogitis will no longer have to use an invasive feeding tube simply because that is the only method their insurance company covers," Paulin said in the release. “Now, children whose families cannot afford the out-of-pocket cost of oral formula will finally have access to it.”

Hannah's mother, Jessie Devane, praised Ball and other legislators for their work on the bill, according to the release.

“Today marks a new chapter in our life, words can’t describe how happy we are as a family. I have worked effortlessly with the support of Senator Greg Ball to pass Hannah’s Law so that we can make it easier on these families, as well as my own,” Jessie Devane said in the release. “This law will do so much good for so many families, giving them the opportunity to take care of their children without the financial burden. I can’t thank Senator Ball and his staff enough for the tireless work they have done on behalf of my daughter and for all the EoS families in New York State. I would also like to extend my sincere appreciation to Governor Andrew Cuomo, Assemblywomen Amy Paulin and all the countless others that believed in Hannah’s Law.”

Ball introduced Hannah’s Law in May 2008 when he was an assemblyman, according to the release, and the bill was taken up for a vote in the New York State Senate in May 2012 and successfully passed. The bill passed both the senate and assembly earlier this year, according to the release.

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