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The U.S. is the most expensive country in the world to give birth. But most hospitals won’t tell patients how much delivery and care costs until after the baby is born.

Why it matters: The average sticker price for childbirth in the U.S. is $32,093, and even insurance doesn’t take care of all of it. Hospitals can charge whatever they want for services, often leaving patients with a confusing list of items on the bill. For Dr. Renee Hsia, an emergency department physician and lead author of a study on California women giving birth, childbirth prices reflect the larger health care system — where high prices are “more the rule than the exception.”

Go deeper

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
Updated 15 seconds ago - Economy & Business

America fought the pandemic economy — and won

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The U.S. economy is emerging from the pandemic with more well-paying jobs for those who want them, less hunger, less poverty, higher wages, less inequality, and more wealth for everyday Americans.

Why it matters: None of these outcomes were expected when the pandemic began. All of them are the result of massive government programs.

GOP Rep. Gonzalez retires in face of Trump-backed primary

Ohio Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R) Photographer: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Ohio Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R) announced his retirement on Thursday, declining to run against a Trump-backed primary challenger in 2022.

Why it matters: Gonzalez has suffered politically since siding with House Democrats to impeach the 45th president after the Capitol riot.

Swing voters oppose Texas abortion law

Protesters at a rally at the Texas State Capitol. Photo: Jordan Vonderhaar/Getty Images

All 10 swing voters in Axios’ latest focus groups — including those who described themselves as "pro-life" — said they oppose Texas' new anti-abortion law.

Why it matters: If their responses reflect larger patterns in U.S. society, this could hurt Republicans with women and independents in next year's midterm elections. The swing voters cited overreach, invasion of privacy and concerns about frivolous lawsuits jamming up the courts.