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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

Nov 30, 2021 - World

WHO advises people 60 or older to postpone travel due to Omicron

Travelers arrive for flights at Newark Liberty International Airport on Nov. 30. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The World Health Organization on Tuesday advised those 60 or older and other vulnerable people to postpone travel plans in response to the emergence of the COVID-19 Omicron variant.

Driving the news: The WHO said on Monday that the Omicron variant poses a "very high" risk and may be more transmissible than other strains of COVID-19.

Dec 1, 2021 - Health

Pentagon denies Oklahoma National Guard request for exemption from vaccine mandate

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin. Photo: Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has denied Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt's (R) request to exempt the state's National Guard from the federal government's vaccine mandate.

Why it matters: The Army National Guard must be fully vaccinated by the end of next June while the Air National Guard faces a Dec. 2 deadline. Those who fail to comply will be barred from drills and other duties, and won't be paid even when they're under state control.

Nov 30, 2021 - Health

Omicron variant in the Netherlands before being discovered in South Africa

Travelers from South Africa are tested for the coronavirus on arrival at Schiphol airport, on Nov. 30. Photo: Remko de Waal/ANP/AFP via Getty Images

Dutch health officials announced Tuesday that they have discovered two cases of the new Omicron variant in the country dating back to Nov. 19 and Nov. 23, days before the variant's detection was announced by South African scientists.

Why it matters: Although the Netherlands announced that it had discovered more than 10 Omicron cases last Sunday, the discovery of these new, older cases means the variant was already spreading in Western Europe before Omicron's existence was publicly known.