Meet Nicole Nichols, a mother of two from Mississippi whose daughter has Type 1 diabetes.
She and other parents with diabetic children have suddenly started having trouble with their insurance coverage.
On Monday, Nicole Nichols sent an email to all the representatives in the state legislature asking for help.
Many parents, myself included, have found that while supplies are deemed necessary and technically covered by insurance, we cannot get Medicaid and/or CHIPS [health coverage for children] to pay for them, and suppliers aren’t able to help us.
In her email, she also explains that the insulin and related supplies are necessary to keep diabetic children alive and healthy:
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 in order to remain healthy, and quite honestly, alive!
Not covering the cost of supplies and medications for diabetic children and others who struggle with diseases is unconscionable.
The American Diabetes Association reports the average cost of treating diabetes per person is $7,900 ($13,700 if you include related complications).
Since Nicole Nichols’ husband and daughter both have Type 1 diabetes, the costs of treatment, medicine and supplies for their household is over $2,000 per month.
MS State Rep. responds to Nicole Nichols’ email about Medicaid refusing to cover supplies for diabetic children.
I can’t help but wonder whether this has something do with GOP lawmakers abusing CHIPS, a federal block grant program.
Block grant programs are easy to manipulate so federal funds don’t help the people they’re supposed to help, that’s why Republicans love them.
Still, despite all the GOP has done to ensure that non-wealthy people with chronic health conditions will sicken and die, Nicole Nichols says all the responses she received were kind and sympathetic. Well, all except one. And even by Republican standards, MS State Rep. Jeffrey Guice’s reply stands out as cruel and callous.
GOP Rep. Jeffrey Guice messed with the wrong mom.
Now, as, as the Sun Herald points out, “Guice probably wishes he hadn’t hit the send button.”
Rep. Jeffrey Guice thought he was dealing with one of those low-income “moochers” the GOP’s always ranting about.
But like all the folks the GOP’s trying to screw, Nicole Nichols isn’t some false stereotype of struggling Americans, she’s an actual person.
An actual person whose husband works two jobs while she stays home with the children.
If Guice made any attempt to stay in touch with the real world, he’d know that if Nichols worked outside of the home, her pay would barely cover the cost of daycare for her kids, let alone medication for her daughter’s diabetes.
— Unpaid Protester (@djnutmeg) June 28, 2016
Nicole Nichols also happens to have a large following.
The Sun Herald also reports she wrote a diabetes book for children and runs a Facebook page for her fellow parents of diabetic children called Living in the World of Test Strips.
Thanks to her fans, who’ve shared her exchange with Rep. Jeffrey Guice far and wide, this story’s spreading like wildfire, and he will likely pay in November.
— cesar (@arian_ce) June 29, 2016
The disgraced GOP rep. was also forced to email his lame apology for basically calling Nicole Nichols and her husband deadbeats.
“I realize my remarks to Mrs. Nichols were completely insensitive and out of line. 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.”
Luckily, this heartless GOP politician’s gaffe may save lives.
This story has not only raised awareness of the urgent need for health coverage for people struggling with diabetes, Nichols’ page also mentions the Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi.
If you’d like to help cover their programs and services (which include emergency meds and supplies through their Helping Hands program), click here.
Watch: Nicole Nichols tells her story to the Clarion Ledger.
When a reporter from Clarion Ledger asked Nicole Nichols how she feels about Rep. Jeffrey Guice’s callous response to her plea for help, she wryly answered, “I’m sure there’s a word for that.”