Republican Mississippi state Rep. Jeffrey Guice told the mother of an 8-year-old diabetic child to buy her own medication instead of asking for help on June 27.
Nicole Nichols of Richland emailed her state representatives for help in getting insulin pump supplies for her daughter, Bella, notes The Clarion-Ledger:
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. 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 wrote Nichols back: "I am sorry for your problem. Have you thought about buying the supplies with money that you earn?"
Two other reps responded to Nichols, but were not negative.
In response to questions about his email, Guice told the newspaper: "I don't do interviews."
"I was flabbergasted that [Guice] had the wherewithal to push the send button," Nichols said. "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."
Bella, who has type 1 diabetes, has gotten supplies for her insulin pump through Medicaid for three years, but the company that normally provided the medical supplies outsourced its products to another company that is not covered by Medicaid.
Nichols told the newspaper that she called 23 companies to find another one that is covered under Medicaid and part of her network, but has not been able to do so.
According to Nichols, her daughter's medicine costs around $2,000 every month.
She said her husband also has diabetes; they both work, but are living "paycheck to paycheck."
Nichols and her daughter were at the state Capitol on June 28 to help raise awareness about the struggles that families encounter when trying to obtain medical supplies through Medicaid, reports WAPT.
Mississippi is one of the GOP-controlled states that has refused to expand Medicaid under Obamacare.
According to his Mississippi House of Representatives web page, Guice is on the Board of Directors for the Boys and Girls Club of the Gulf Coast and is a Presbyterian Christian.