By Jim Acosta
It doesn't happen often, but every once in a while we get to do a story that has a real life-changing impact on somebody's life. Ian Pearl is one of those stories. He's the disabled man we profiled last month. Living on a respirator with muscular dystrophy, he was just weeks away from losing his health insurance.
His insurance company, Guardian, had canceled his coverage. Guardian had found a loophole in New York state law that allowed the company to drop his coverage as part of a slew of policies it had decided to dump. The Pearl family's lawyer showed us a Guardian company e-mail that had referred to Ian's policy as one of the "dogs." It was a reference to the fact that Ian's care costs a million dollars a year.
Well, one day after the story aired, the company reversed itself, apologized, and restored Ian's policy.
But the story doesn't end there. New York State Senator Eric Schneiderman has now announced legislation called "Ian's Law," which seeks to close that insurance loophole.
Because of Ian's condition, he couldn't make it to the news conference. But he appeared via video conference and announced his intention to see this law passed across the country and potentially on a national level.
One thing we didn't get to mention in our piece is that as a kid, Ian was a poster child for people with muscular dystrophy. He later became president of his high school.
Now Ian is a spokesman and leader once again, fighting for health care reforms that protect the disabled from a system that sometimes fails to safeguard this country's most vulnerable people.
Related: Insurance company does an about-face