Mississippi Rep. Jeff Guice Apologizes To Mother Of Diabetic Child For 'Knee-Jerk Comment'

Susan Macdonald

Mississippi Representative Jeffrey Guice made headlines a few days ago. Unfortunately, it was the sort of publicity most politicians would pay to avoid. As the Inquisitr explained, Nicole Nichols, whose 8-year-old daughter Bella has Type 1 diabetes, contacted state legislators to try to get her daughter the help she needs. Rep. Guice (R-Ocean Springs) publicly and tactlessly suggested that Mrs. Nichols pay for Bella's medical "supplies with money that you earn."

"I am sorry about your problem. Have you thought about buying the supplies with the money that you earn?"


Rep. Guice was unaware of the costs of insulin and other medical supplies, and did not bother to research the matter before responding to Nicole Nichols, whose daughter and husband both have diabetes. Guice is a member of the Mississippi House Public Health and Human Services committee, so it should not have been overly difficult for him to acquire that data. Mrs. Nichols pointed out that the cost of her daughter's medical supplies are higher than her monthly mortgage payment.

"Many parents, myself included, have found that while supplies are deemed necessary and technically covered by insurance, we cannot get Medicaid and/or CHIPS (Children's Health Insurance Program) to pay for them, and suppliers aren't able to help us."

"This shows how incredibly out of touch he is with what the majority of Mississippians are going through. We have the highest rate of diabetes in the nation."
"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 a 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."

Clancy Walker of Summit, MS, who also attended the meeting with Rep. Guice, was upset when he suggested that Mrs. Nichols appeal to her church for help, complaining that Guice didn't understand.

"He still missed her point! No one is asking for a handout from anyone. We just want the insurance companies to approve and help pay for our supplies and meds to keep them alive without having to go through hoops every month."

[Photo by Rogelio V. Solis/AP Images]