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- Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian says he was surprised to learn that rich Americans have access to much better healthcare than the average person.
- In a recent YouTube episode with Chelsea Fagan of the Financial Diet, he said he’s learned that there’s a whole different world of healthcare for rich people, from private medicine to hospital tiers, and it’s “jarring.”
- He also finds said the financial products the rich are offered compared to everyone else makes his “head spin.”
There are some major differences between those who have money and those who don’t.
In a recent YouTube episode with Chelsea Fagan of The Financial Diet, Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian was asked what he thinks people with money know that people without money don’t know. The episode was sponsored by Empower, a mobile banking app that’s backed by Ohanian’s venture capital firm, Initialized Capital.
“I thought I’d be handed like a book when [I made money] …like the book of sh– only rich people know,” he said. “I never got this, and I still am learning things and it’s amazing and I know I’m going to be continuing to be learning stuff, and I’m going to be continuing to scratch my head and wonder how is it possible this whole other world exists.”
Ohanian said one of the most “frightening” things he’s learned since having money is that wealthy people have better access to quality healthcare.
Ohanian explained that he was raised with the assumption that all healthcare and all hospitals are basically the same – that there’s not a big difference, and people just go to the hospital near them.
“Only in recent years as I’ve had to encounter the stuff for loved ones and have I had people who have obscene wealth, relative to my own – very wealthy and old money wealth – have I learned there’s a whole other world, from concierge medicine and private medicine to very different tiers of hospitals and quality of care,” Ohanian said. “And I literally never even heard of these before, let alone walked into them or seen them and now that I have, it is jarring.”
He continued: “I think that’s one of those things that if we all as a public understood, really understood the difference, I think folks would be even more upset than they already are about the quality of healthcare in this country, because it is staggering.”
Ohanian said this realization “shook” him because it made him rethink the care his loved ones received years ago when they weren’t aware of the differences and didn’t have access to better healthcare financially. Now, he said, it’s a priority to him as a husband and a father to get the very best healthcare.
“My wife and daughter are going to have access to things I never even dreamed of,” Ohanian said, speaking of wife Serena Williams. “I didn’t think it was that different, but it turns out it is.”
But that’s not the only difference he sees when it comes to the wealth divide.
“The same way the difference in medicine makes my head spin, the difference in financial products is along the same lines,” Ohanian said, referencing a high-net-worth person’s relative ease of qualifying for a loan, for instance, compared to the average American.
He continued: “And it’s subtle, these are very subtle things, but they add up a lot, especially when you think of the implications it has in the rest of the country, the rest of world.”