Mississippi state representative Jeffrey Guice insults mom over Medicaid and tells her to buy her own medicine
Nicole Nichols’ eight-year-old daughter has Type 1 diabetes. For the past three years her daughter has received supplies for her insulin pump through Medicaid. Six months ago the supply company was outsourced and Medicaid refused to cover the new supplier. Nichols has contacted 23 companies to try and find one that is covered by Medicaid with no success.
Frustrated, Nichols sent a kindly worded letter to her state representatives detailing the issue and asking if there was anything they could do to help. The Facebook page Living in the world of Test Strips posted it in full:
Mississippi state representative Jeffrey Guice was one of three representatives who responded to Nichols. This is what he had to say:
Nichols told the Clarion-Ledger she was shocked that Guice actually had the wherewithal to push send on his message. It’s pretty apparent that Guice thinks Nichols and her family are looking for a handout simply because their daughter is on Medicaid. For what it’s worth, they aren’t.
Nichols’ husband, who also has Type 1 diabetes, works two jobs – one for a transportation company and another in the restaurant industry. On top of her advocacy work Nichols’ manages Living In The World Of Test Strips, an online community for families living with Type 1 diabetes. In spite of the fact that these parents are working as hard as they can, Nichols says the out-of-pocket expenses for her daughter’s medications and supplies is over $2,000 per month.
She responded to Guice’s tone deaf email by detailing the costs of her daughter’s medications.
- Insulin: $400 per vial of humalog (2 vials a month for my daughter, 3 for my husband with T1)
- Insulin #2: $150 per vial of Lantus (for emergency pump failure)
- Test stirps: $300 per month (per person)
- Insulin pump supplies: $375 per month (per person)
- Dexcom CGM sensors: $300 per month (per person)
- Glucagon: $450 per syringe
- Ketone strips: $80 for a box of 10
- $150 per month in various smaller prescriptions such as adhesives, alcohol swabs, glucose gels, etc.
Over $2,000 a month in medical supplies. What working family could be expected to afford that?
She pointed out, “Insulin alone amounts to my house payment every month. Insulin literally keeps this little girl alive.”
Guice’s first response on the matter was to tell the media that he, “doesn’t do interviews,” but since Nichols story had gone viral he’s issued a statement.
“I realize my remarks to Mrs. Nichols were completely insensitive and out of line,” he said.” 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.”
His “statement” is worthless. This mother explained in detail the predicament she was in. His response was heartless, useless, and showed a complete lack of understanding of how frustrating it is to deal with insurance companies. His insurance is probably pretty fantastic. He’s clearly never had to deal with anything like this before, let alone for a sick child. She ends her response with an appropriate mic drop:
The good news is that since word of the incident has spread, Nichols has been contacted by Medicaid and will hopefully be getting coverage for the medical supplies her daughter both needs and deserves. The better news is that Guice is up for reelection in 2019.