Mississippi first responders want help paying medical bills; They won't get it — for now

  • Source: Jackson Clarion-Ledger
  • Published: 03/04/2019 12:00 AM

First, there's anxiety over the cancer diagnosis. Then, there's anxiety over how to pay for the treatment. Ryker Haselden, 49, called his prostate cancer diagnosis in 2017 a "gut-punch." He's been a firefighter in Mississippi for about two decades. Haselden has two children, one of whom is developmentally disabled, so his wife is a full-time mother. Haselden said he opted for surgery and had to take about four months off work. "It was really hard," he said. "We struggled. This cancer thing, we're learning, is so prevalent in fire service ... I'm starting to know so many people out there diagnosed with cancer or dying from cancer." There was a bill introduced in the Mississippi Legislature this year to help first responders like Haselden pay for some medical expenses related to their job. The Senate passed the bill, 50-1. Then it was referred to the House Insurance Committee. The chairman of that committee, Rep. Gary Chism, said that's where it will die.


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