Remember that mom who wrote to her state representative to get help with Medicaid payments for her daughter's diabetes supplies?
And her state rep sent her a one line email in response?
"I am sorry for your problem. Have you thought about buying the supplies with money that you earn?"
Well, social media across the country picked up on that story, and the representative, Mister Guice (yeah) shut down his Facebook page, locked the door to his office, and told all the reporters "no comment."
That didn't work.
So then he called the mom, Nicole Nichols, and apologized.
It turns out that Nicole Nichols has a friend who also has a child with diabetes. This friend thought it would be good if they brought Jeffrey Guice and Nicole Nichols together for a face-to-face meeting.
Sometimes when you meet someone face to face and see the humanity of the person you have been dealing with on-line, it can have a positive effect. I applaud the friend who thought to bring these two individuals together for a heart to heart talk. He can apologize in person, she can accept the apology, and both can come away knowing that there is some humanity behind all this conflict.
And so it went, until it was time for Ms. Nichols to leave. The Mississippi Sun Herald picks up the story, quoting from the friend's Facebook page:
“I joined Nicki Nichols this morning at The Mississippi State Capitol to meet with Mr. Guice for his ‘apology’ for his cold email to her. First let me say this girl is an amazing advocate for all of our T1 babies. She was equipped with knowledge and spoke with eloquence.
“Second, I honestly believe he only apologized because he was told to. Towards the end of the conversation he looked at Nicki and asked, ‘do you worship?’
“I think we both were taken back with that question and wondered where this was headed. He proceeded to tell her that where he goes to church they help each other and maybe she should contact her church for help! I’m still in awe at his suggestion.
“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. No child’s life should be at stake by a person sitting behind a desk deciding what insurance will and will not pay for. We’ve still got a ways to go but you can believe she has definitely got the ball rolling!”
Clearly, Jeffrey Guice is a Republican from a southern state that has, because of Republican politics, rejected Medicaid expansion.
Clearly, Jeffrey Guice and his Republican colleagues don't give a rat's butt about the 130,000 people in Mississippi they are denying health insurance to because of their refusal to expand Medicaid.
Clearly, Jeffrey Guice has as his core belief, that government is the problem, the poor are lazy, and Medicaid is not insurance, but a handout. (Unless Medicaid is being used for white people's nursing home care.)
Clearly, Jeffrey Guice is in a very safe seat in the Mississippi legislature (though local media is not taking that for granted after this).
Clearly, Jeffrey Guice and Republicans like him are the problem.
We wish Nichole Nichols and her daughter every success against this insanity.