Miss. Lawmaker Suggests Woman Buy Daughter's Diabetes Meds After She Writes for Help

Nicole Nichols wrote to state representatives after trouble with Medicaid bills.

June 28, 2016, 5:36 PM

— -- A Mississippi state representative suggested that a woman buy her family's diabetes medication after she wrote to him to ask for help with increasing difficulties obtaining Medicaid assistance.

Richland resident Nicole Nichols wrote to the Mississippi House of Representatives Monday morning to voice her concern that children with Type 1 diabetes "aren't getting the necessary diabetes supplies and meds they need to stay healthy."

"We have recently begun having a lot of problems with Medicaid/CHIPS coverage of the essential diabetes supplies needed, not only to keep our kids healthy, but to literally keep them alive," Nichols wrote to Mississippi lawmakers. "No parents should have to fight for so long for their child's essential medical supplies and medical needs when it's explicitly stated as a covered benefit."

Later that day, Mississippi State Rep. Jeffrey Guice, R-Ocean Springs, replied, "I am sorry for your problem. Have you thought about buying the supplies with money that you earn?"

The mother of two, whose 8-year-old daughter, Bella, has Type 1 diabetes, told ABC News she has been filled with "silent fury" since she received Guice's response. Two other state representatives responded to her email as well, but Guice's was the only negative one, she said.

Nichols posted the exchange to a Facebook page Living in the World of Test Strips, which provides community support for parents of children with Type 1 diabetes. This morning, she attended a special session at the Mississippi State Capitol, where Guice was in attendance, and spoke to several reporters about the problems she's been experiencing. A few legislators even offered their support, telling her to call their office if she continues to encounters problems with obtaining her daughter's medication.

Nichols responded to Guice by detailing how much each portion of her daughter's medication costs, which amounts to about $2,500 a month, she said. Guice responded by merely asking if insulin was covered by Medicaid, Nichols said.

Despite Guice's comment, Nichols said she is focusing on "the kids" and "getting them what they need to get healthy." She said she aims to raise awareness and be an advocate for several other families of children with Type 1 diabetes who are having the same problem.

"I will gladly use his mistake to get the kids what they need," she said, adding that she's been experiencing the problem since April.

A representative for Guice did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment.

Nichols' husband also has Type 1 diabetes, but he has not had any problems receiving medication, which is covered by his insurance through his employer, Nichols said.

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