A mother of a diabetic girl in Mississippi asked a state lawmaker for help getting through Medicaid red tape and was stunned by his insulting response. "I am sorry for your problem. Have you thought about buying the supplies with money that you earn?" wrote Rep. Jeffrey Guice. Nicole Nichols' 8-year-old daughter, Bella, has Type 1 diabetes. Medicaid has covered supplies for her insulin pump for most of the last three years, but she has been having problems getting coverage since the supply firm outsourced products six months ago, the Clarion-Ledger reports. Nichols—who runs a Facebook support group for parents of kids with Type 1 diabetes—says she was "flabbergasted" by the response from Guice. She says she contacted every state representative and Guice, a Republican from Ocean Springs, was the only one who gave her a negative response.
Nichols says her husband works two jobs and that she's not happy with Guice's implication that she's a deadbeat. "I wasn't asking for a handout. I wasn't asking for something to be given to us. These children are already eligible for these benefits based on our family's financial situation," she tells the Sun Herald. "I needed assistance navigating the red tape that surrounds Medicaid." Guice issued a statement Tuesday night apologizing for his "completely insensitive" remarks. "I am sorry and deeply regret my reply," he wrote. "I know nothing about her and her family and replied in knee-jerk fashion." But his rudeness may end up helping: Nichols says she heard from Mississippi Medicaid soon after her story started to spread and it promised to investigate her case. (This Florida woman gave Gov. Rick Scott a public telling-off for cutting Medicaid.)