By Ryan Velez
Sean Parker has seen a fair share of success in his life, being the founder of Napster and a former president of Facebook. One could spend days wondering what people would be able to do with that kind of money, but Parker made a rather candid point at a recent appearance that may hit home for too many people: the fact that being a billionaire gives him better access to healthcare. Celebrity Net Worth has more on his statement.
At a recent event in Philadelphia, Parker said:
"So… I'm going to be like 160 and I'm going to be part of this, like, class of immortal overlords. Because, you know the Warren Buffett expression about compound interest — Give us billionaires an extra hundred years and you'll know what wealth disparity looks like."
While he put it in humorous terms, Parker shines a light on a very serious issue. Healthcare has been an issue in the U.S. for decades with many people essentially gambling on not coming down with an illness or other medical issues that they can’t afford. Even the expense of keeping basic insurance can be financially crippling for many people, impeding them from other financial milestones or other means to improve their own wealth. Life expectancy is increasing and it is predicted to continue to do so. However, because of their ability to afford top of the line healthcare, the wealthy will have an even better chance of outliving everyone else. Parker has a net worth of $7.6 billion.
The recent back and forth a few months ago regarding the Affordable Care Act dragged this back into the limelight. While the Act is still safe (for now) uncertainty in the market is likely to drive premiums up further into the new year, something that many people are unlikely to be happy about. Combine this with the fact that the politicians who voted on this have excellent healthcare, and it is clear the resentment that is building over this necessity.
Parker is known for both his career as well as his outspokenness, but he is also quite the philanthropist. He founded the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy in 2016 with a $250 million grant from his charity, the Parker Foundation. The Institute's mission is to accelerate advancements and innovations in cancer research and treatment.