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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

The Exvangelicals

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Even as evangelicals maintain their position as the most popular religion in the U.S., a movement of self-described "exvangelicals" is breaking away, using social media to engage tens of thousands of former faithful.

The big picture: Donald Trump's presidency, as well as movements around LGBTQ rights, #MeToo and Black Lives Matter, drew more Americans into evangelical churches while also pushing some existing members away.

Updated 5 hours ago - Science

Huge wildfire reaches edge of Sequoia National Park

A plume of smoke and flames rise into the air as the fire burns towards Moro Rock during the KNP Complex fire in the Sequoia National Park near Three Rivers, California, on Saturday. Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

Firefighters in Sequoia National Park were working into the night after two wildfires merged to reach the Giant Forest Saturday.

Why it matters: This forest contains over 2,000 giant sequoias, including the General Sherman Tree — the world's largest tree by volume. Park officials wrapped the redwoods in foil last week as the Paradise and Colony Fires, now known as the KNP Complex Fire, neared. Protection efforts appeared to be working overnight.

5 hours ago - World

Hong Kong holds first "patriots only" elections

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam during a news conference last Monday. Photo: Lui Siu Wai/Xinhua via Getty Images

Hong Kong's elections to choose the city's Election Committee members opened to a select group of voters on Sunday, under a new "patriots only" system imposed by China's government.

Why it matters: All candidates running to be members of the electoral college have been "vetted" by Beijing, per Reuters. They will go on to choose the Asian financial hub's next leader, approved by China's government, and some of its legislature.