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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Buying a new car every year would be a very impractical expense. It would also be cheaper than a year’s worth of health care for a family.

Why it matters: The cost-shifting and complexity of health insurance can hide its high cost, which crowds out families’ other needs and depresses workers’ wages.

By the numbers: Health care for a family covered by a large employer cost, on average, $22,885 last year.

  • That’s $2,000 more than the sticker price for a brand-new Volkswagen Beetle.
  • If the iconic Beetle isn’t your style, $22,885 would also be more than enough to get you a Ford Focus ($17,950), a Toyota Corolla ($18,600) or a Hyundai Sonata ($22,050).

Between the lines: Roughly $15,000 of that $22,885 comes from employers’ contribution to their workers’ premiums. That share alone is enough to buy a basic sedan.

  • Workers chip in an average of $4,706 per year premiums, and then spend an additional of $3,020 out of pocket. Combined, that’s almost 4 times more than the average family spends on gas in a year.

The Beetle is being discontinued in the U.S. after this year. But as health care costs continue to rise, they’ll be comparable to even fancier cars. They’re already inching up toward the cheapest Cadillac — a familiar car metaphor.

  • The Affordable Care Act’s “Cadillac tax” was intended to put downward pressure on prices by taxing the most generous health plans. But it actually affects a broad range of plans, and Congress has delayed the tax until 2022. The House has voted to repeal it altogether.

Go deeper

47 mins ago - Health

Boris Johnson announces month-long COVID-19 lockdown in U.K.

Prime Minsiter Boris Johnson. Photo: NurPhoto / Getty Images

A new national lockdown will be imposed in the U.K., Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced Saturday, as the number of COVID-19 cases in the country topped 1 million.

Details: Starting Thursday, people in England must stay at home, and bars and restaurants will close, except for takeout and deliveries. All non-essential retail will also be shuttered. Different households will be banned from mixing indoors. International travel, unless for business purposes, will be banned. The new measures will last through at least December 2.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

The massive early vote

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Early voting in the 2020 election across the U.S. on Saturday had already reached 65.5% of 2016's total turnout, according to state data compiled by the U.S. Elections Project.

Why it matters: The coronavirus pandemic and its resultant social-distancing measures prompted a massive uptick in both mail-in ballots and early voting nationwide, setting up an unprecedented and potentially tumultuous count in the hours and days after the polls close on Nov. 3.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Ipsos poll: COVID trick-or-treat.
  2. World: Greece tightens coronavirus restrictions as Europe cases spike — Austria reimposes coronavirus lockdowns amid surge of infections
  3. Economy: Conference Board predicts economy won’t fully recover until late 2021.
  4. Technology: Fully at-home rapid COVID test to move forward.
  5. States: New York rolls out new testing requirements for visitors.