/After uproar, beleaguered lawmaker meets with mom of diabetic child

After uproar, beleaguered lawmaker meets with mom of diabetic child

Nichole Nichols, along with other mothers of Type 1 diabetic children, met with Rep. Jeffrey Guice at the State Capitol on Wednesday morning. Guice reached out to Nichols in order to arrange the meeting, she stated. Mississippi Today was not told by Nichols that the meeting was “positive or negative.” However, Nichols said she wouldn’t describe it as such, but she did say she offered solutions to her problem. Nichols sent an email to legislators stating that even though supplies are technically covered by insurance, many parents (including myself) have discovered that Medicaid and/or CHIPS are not able to pay for them. Also, suppliers aren’t able help. Guice replied with a curt reply: “I am sorry about your problem.” Nichols stated that the supplies would cost $2,500 per month. After much media attention and criticism, Guice offered an apology through House Information Officer Meg Annison on Tuesday night. Guice said, “I am sorry for my comments to Mrs. Nichols. They were totally insensitive and outof line.” “I’m sorry, and I deeply regret my response. I don’t know anything about her or her family so I replied in a knee-jerk manner. “I’d like to think that the people of Mississippi, my constituents, know that I’m willing and able to help wherever I’m able to.” Guice met with Nichols on Wednesday morning. Some mothers had negative reactions to the meeting. Guice did not respond to inquiries for comment on Thursday afternoon. Nichols stated that the meeting lasted approximately an hour to an and a quarter of an hour. Despite not being able to resolve the matter, Nichols was contacted by many people from the Division of Medicaid. At least one issue regarding coverage is being addressed. She said, “It sounds great, but until I get confirmation from a (supplier distributor) and a parent has received the product in hand I won’t be able to believe it.” Kaitlan Sudduth (22-year-old Type 1 diabetic who works with Diabetes Foundation), also attended the meeting. Guice apologized and she said Nichols had explained her situation to her again. Sudduth stated that Guice apologized again and said that he would contact the foundation. Sudduth stated that Guice didn’t offer any solutions, but that he would talk to people about possible options. Clancy Walker of Summit also attended the meeting. She stated that she believes Guice “only apologized because it was told to” and raised a point about a question he asked Nichols. “Towards end of the conversation, he looked at Nicki to ask, “Do you worship?” I believe we both were taken back by that question and wondered what was going on. She wrote that he told her that he and his church help each other. He missed the point. Nobody is asking for help. We are asking for the insurance companies to pay our supplies and meds so they can live without going through the hoops each month. Nichols stated that she was surprised at the support she received, but disappointed by the state legislators’ response. She stated that she expected to be able go to the Legislature in a state with many people who disagree with Medicaid. “She said, “This is a child, she needs medicine. Let’s see if we can help her get it.” To support this important work, you can make a regular donation to the Spring Member Drive today. Our reporters give a human face to policy’s impact on everyday Mississippians by listening more closely and understanding their communities. To ensure that our work is aligned with the priorities and needs of Mississippians, we are listening to you. Click the button below to let us know what you think. Republish this Story