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Press release
July 25, 2017

Video Featuring BD Wong – Tony Award Winning Actor and Star of Law and Order SVU – Released Today by Families USA and The Actors Fund in Fight to Save Medicaid

Wong Introduces Woman Who Tells Real Life Story

Washington, D.C. – A video profiling the real life story of how Medicaid saved a woman’s life when complications arose during the birth of her son was released today by Families USA and The Actors Fund as the start of what will be an ongoing partnership.

“People who work in entertainment and the performing arts are similar to many Americans in that they may work multiple jobs without any health insurance benefits and can periodically find themselves without work, putting their health at risk. That’s where Medicaid can step in as a temporary safety net,” said Joseph P. Benincasa, President and CEO of The Actors Fund. “This is just one of many stories that capture the importance of this program not only to the arts community, but to people from all walks of life.”

The video opens with BD Wong, Tony Award Winning Actor, star of TV’s Law and Order SVU, and Emmy nominated for his current role in Mr. Robot, introducing Liz H, who had been insured when she worked for a start-up, but then lost her job and her insurance. She was pregnant. Medicaid took care of her prenatal care and then covered her expenses when complications arose during the birth of her son.

“I am so grateful to be here now and I am also grateful I am not buried in medical debts.” Liz says. “Medicaid has been a safety net for my family when we needed it most."

Wong closes the video saying: “This is how America’s safety net works. We need to protect Medicaid from the cuts proposed in Congress. It is important for the health and the wellness of our nation. Call your member of Congress and tell them we need to protect Medicaid.”

Families USA’s Executive Director Frederick Isasi said this video is the beginning of a partnership with The Actors Fund – an organization that provides a variety of assistance programs to the entertainment and performing arts community – that will continue as long as Medicaid is under attack.

“Whatever the outcome of the Senate Health Care bill this week, Republicans in Congress and President Trump have threatened to slash Medicaid funding further as part of the federal funding and tax reform bills that will be taken up in the coming months,” Isasi said. “Along with The Actors Fund and other partners we will continue to keep fighting for what is best for the health of America’s families.”