A Mississippi State Representative has walked back his comments and apologized to a mother who reached out to him for help in utilizing Medicaid.
According to The Clarion-Ledger, Nicole Nichols – who has a daughter with diabetes – sent an email to three state representatives this Monday asking for help in obtaining her daughter’s insulin pump supplies.
“We have recently begun having a lot of problems with Medicaid/CHIPS coverage for the essential diabetes supplies needed, not only to keep our kids healthy, but to keep them alive,” she wrote in the email. “Is there someone in the legislature that can and will help these children stay healthy? They must have these medications and supplies which administer the medications to stay healthy and, quite honestly, alive!”
That’s when State Rep. Jeffrey Guice (R-Ocean Springs) responded, “I am sorry for your problem. Have you thought about buying the supplies with money that you earn?”
When that didn’t go over too well, Guice immediately issued an apology.
“I realize my remarks to Mrs. Nichols were completely insensitive and out of line,” Guice said in a statement. ” I am sorry and deeply regret my reply. I know nothing about her and her family and replied in knee-jerk fashion. I’d like to think the people of Mississippi and my constituents know that I’m willing to help where I am able.”
According to Nichols, out of the three politicians she emailed, Guice is the only one who responded negatively.
From The Clarion-Ledger:
For the last three years, Nichols’ 8-year-old daughter, Bella, a Type 1 diabetic, has received supplies for her insulin pump through Medicaid.
For the last six months, Nichols said, she and other parents have fought to get their children’s medical supplies after the supply company outsourced products and shipping.
While the supply company was covered by Medicaid, the company they outsourced to was not. Nichols said she called 23 companies to find one that was both covered by Medicaid and in the original company’s approved network. She has yet to find one.
The out-of-pocket expense for Bella’s medication runs upward of $2,000 per month, Nichols said.
“I was flabbergasted that [Guice] had the wherewithal to push the send button,” Nichols told The Clarion-Ledger. “Once I had a chance to think about it, I wasn’t surprised at all. I grew up in Mississippi, as awful as that sounds.”
Featured image: Justin Sellers/The Clarion-Ledger