Many of us haven’t been able yet to stop shaking our heads over the government shutdown. Technical problems with the rollout of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, have not helped give neck muscles needed relief. There has been a lot of noise made about why tech startups weren’t more involved in the process (a discussion worth having). But should we resign ourselves to disappointment, join the mudslinging complainers, or do the glitches in Washington merely point to ample opportunity?
No Love For Healthcare.gov
Let the debates rage about whom should brought in to fix the government website or whether or not it can be fixed in the first place. Some companies are building their businesses, making attractive products regardless of the firestorm. eHealth continues to grow an alternative marketplace for finding insurance plans and applying for coverage online. Fuse Insurance looks to aid the confused consumer by serving as a recommendation engine that compares plans and helps determine the price of choices. In Beta, this startup is currently focused on California, Florida, and Texas, but look for it to expand into states slow to offer similar services.
Feel like placing odds on seeing immigration reform anytime soon? Immigration policy is one more issue with enormous economic consequences where the government can’t seem to make headway. Let’s narrow the focus for this post to consider just the process of applying for legal residency. The path is notoriously long and expensive. What’s the answer? Live somewhere else? Hand over life savings to a lawyer? Wait for procedural improvements?
Clearpath aims to simplify immigration, making it easier and more affordable to fill out appropriate forms and file immigration applications. While the platform is no substitute for trusted legal council, it is a promising step in the right direction – a potential legal supplement that will bring down costs, and an information source that will empower candidates to seek paperwork through legal channels. In an increasingly global society, with so many resources at hand, there’s no reason why the immigration process can’t be shortened, made cheaper and more straightforward.
And the List Goes On, and On, and…
Trouble rallying your representatives to a cause? Take a look at the petition power MoveOn.org has put into the hands of the people. Wherever there is a stumble (and who doesn’t think that there will be plenty more to come?), there will be opportunity. We could elect people to work in government that actually believe in government, but that is another matter all together. While you’re waiting for an election to voice your displeasure, you can either join the chorus of grumbles or offer new and exciting solutions.