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Mississippi lawmaker to woman: Buy kid’s meds yourself; don’t ask state

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JACKSON, Miss. — A state representative told a Mississippi woman she should earn money for the insulin and insulin pump supplies that her diabetic 8-year-old daughter needs to survive instead of asking for state help.

Nicole Nichols of Richland told The Clarion-Ledger she was “flabbergasted” by the email from Ocean Springs Republican Rep. Jeffrey Guice.

Nichols said she emailed all 122 state representatives after calling 23 suppliers without finding one covered by Medicaid and in the approved network for the Medicaid-covered supply company she has used for the past three years.

She wrote, “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!”

Guice’s response, which Nichols posted on her Facebook page, said, “I am sorry for your problem. Have you thought about buying the supplies with money that you earn?”

Guice declined to comment, telling the newspaper he doesn’t do interviews.

Nichols said Medicaid paid for her daughter Bella’s medication for three years, until the supplier began outsourcing products and shipping six months ago. The subcontractor that now provides the pump supplies and insulin is not covered by Medicaid, she said, so she has been paying more than $2,000 a month.

Bella inherited Type 1 diabetes from Nichols’ husband, Nathan. He’s a transportation company inventory specialist and also works a second job in a restaurant.

Nichols said they “work their tails off” to make ends meet, but still live “paycheck to paycheck.”