Saved By A Liver Transplant, Steve Jobs Pays Just One Penny Per Year For Medicare Liver Transplants

steve jobs

Photo: AP

While hailed as admirable, there’s also a troubling aspect to Steve Jobs’ much-hyped $1 annual salary. In a 2010 event at Stanford’s Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital attended by liver transplant recipient Jobs, California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger had this to say about the Apple CEO:

“And what I like about Steve is, because he is a wealthy man, we all know that and that helped him get the transplant. But he doesn’t want that, that only wealthy people can get the transplant and have a plane waiting to take him anywhere he needs to go. He wants every human being, if you have no money at all or if you’re the richest person in the world, everyone ought to have the right to get immediately a transplant.”

But liver transplant costs are steep and one way to fund them is via Medicare.

Unfortunately, using a rate of 1.45% would mean that Apple has kicked in a total of $0.13 in Medicare taxes on the $1 salary Jobs has been paid since 1998.

(OK, add another 78 cents for 13 years of FICA contributions).

And that kind of inequality, some might argue, is messed-up. Not to single out Jobs — the ranks of the ballyhooed $1 Executive Club include Larry Ellison, Sergey Brin, Larry Page, and Eric Schmidt.

But the fact is, writes Chrystia Freeland in The Rise of the New Global Elite, someone will have to pay for America’s social safety net. “Inevitably,” she adds, ‘a lot of that money will have to come from the wealthy — after all, as the bank robbers say, that’s where the money is.”

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