I'm surprised by how many nofilmschool readers are licensed pilots. :-)
And, didn't the article get it exactly wrong? How about this:
"For filmmakers who make a living through drone videography, these proposed regulations likely won't have much impact (because those shots and productions are rare and between a Steadicam and a 30ft jib you could afford it). However, for hobbyists who have a drone and like to fly it around their backyard, these regulations could very well make their lives incredibly difficult, especially if they're strictly enforced."
Welcome to the reality of large-format sensors :-) Guy McLoughlin basically said it all, although I can't agree with "most people"...
The answer is, you use a wireless remote follow focus system. Of course you don't have to buy them, you rent them from your favorite local rental house. A basic but professional system like Bartec or Redrock MicroRemote can be had for $100-$125/day.
If you are investing in your own Steadicam rig then yes, you will have to think about buying one of those systems eventually.
Other than that, Google some Depth of Field calculators - once you enter your camera, sensor and lens characteristics, you'll be able to figure out exactly what you can get away with without touching the lens, and what will require pulling.
We're all out there, available and eagerly looking for work. Websites, mandy, CreativeCow, LA411, and of course word of mouth. You can look up any crew member you want from a show's credits or IMDB page and find your way to discuss hiring them.
The caveat is that we've put in the years and investment to become professionals and besides the passion, we're in it also to make a (half decent) living. In my experience on both sides of the hiring process I've never had problems finding good people - it's about agreeing on a reasonable rate. $150/day for a quality freelancer is not a reasonable rate.