Pence Promised ‘No Surprise Billing’ for Coronavirus, Woman Gets Billed $34,927.43

Vice President Mike Pence promised on March 10 there would not be “no surprise billing” regarding the coronavirus, but Danni Askini was billed $34,927.43 to be tested and treated for the coronavirus, reports TIME.

When Askini first came down with the symptoms of the coronavirus — shortness of breath, fever, cough and migraines — she was told by a doctor to go to the emergency room. which she ended up going to three times before she was finally tested and treated.

Like 27 million other Americans, Askini was uninsured when she entered the hospital, but is now hoping Medicaid will retroactively cover her massive bill:

I was pretty sticker-shocked. I personally don’t know anybody who has that kind of money.

Pence promised on March 10 that Medicare and Medicaid recipients would receive full coverage, just like insured people, “either today or before today.”

Congress passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act March 18, which covers testing costs going forward, but it doesn’t address treatment costs in the U.S. fragmented health care system.

Askini shared her situation Twitter on March 20.

(Sources: TIME, McClatchy, Danni Askini/Twitter)

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