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A doctor tending to a coronavirus patient at a hospital in Houston on Aug. 18. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

The spike in hospitalizations of unvaccinated adults — which are almost all preventable — cost the U.S. health system more than $2 billion in June and July, per a KFF analysis.

Why it matters: Those costs are ultimately shouldered by all of us, not just those who remain unvaccinated and then get severely ill.

By the numbers: A coronavirus hospitalization costs, on average, around $20,000.

  • Using CDC data, KFF estimated that there were around 37,000 preventable coronavirus hospitalizations among unvaccinated adults in June and another 76,000 in July.

Between the lines: Someone has to pay for these hospitalizations. Although COVID patients themselves may be on the hook for at least part of the bill, a large chunk of the tab will fall on either private or public insurers.

  • And health insurance isn't free — we all pay for it either through our premiums or our taxpayer dollars.
  • "In addition to preventable direct monetary costs for treatment of unvaccinated people, re-opening of schools and economic recovery also suffers as increasing COVID-19 cases continue to put Americans at risk of avoidable severe illness and even death," the analysis writes.

The bottom line: We're all paying for the unvaccinated, and the big question is how large we'll let the bill become.

Go deeper: U.S. uninsurance rate unchanged during pandemic despite layoffs

Go deeper

Sep 18, 2021 - Health

Most Kentucky school boards vote in favor of mask mandates

Photo: Paul Bersebach, MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images

A majority of school boards in Kentucky voted in favor of mask mandates, according to the Kentucky School Board Association.

Why it matters: A week ago, Kentucky's Republican-dominated legislature voted to revoke a statewide mask mandate in public schools that was meant to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. The decision on masks would instead be left up to individual districts.

Sep 17, 2021 - Health

International Mission Board to require COVID vaccine for missionaries

Photo: Oli Scarff/AFP via Getty Images

The International Mission Board, which deploys thousands of missionaries, announced that its plans to require COVID-19 vaccinations for those they're sending into the field.

Why it matters: COVID-19 refusal rates are among the highest among white evangelical Christians and the requirement by the International Mission Board may be the first U.S. missionary agency known to have such a mandate.

Mike Allen, author of AM
38 mins ago - Technology

Axios interview: Facebook to try for more transparency

Nick Clegg last year. Photo: Matthew Sobocinski/USA Today via Reuters

Nick Clegg, Facebook's vice president of global affairs, tells me the company will try to provide more data to outside researchers to scrutinize the health of activity on Facebook and Instagram, following The Wall Street Journal's brutal look at internal documents.

Driving the news: Clegg didn't say that in his public response to the series. So I called him to push for what Facebook will actually do differently given the new dangers raised by The Journal.