Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius is not a tech founder. President Barack Obama does not have a GitHub account. The failed launch of the new health insurance e-commerce website, Healthcare.gov, came as a shock to political leaders that were too steeped in government shutdowns and the machinations of two-party infighting to understand how their hired geeks could flub a computer project.
Unfortunately, Silicon Valley’s powerful political lobbies were myopically focused on the stereotypical tech issues of immigration reform and broadband access to see that every single law affects the tech industry as much as the rest of the country. As a result, many Silicon Valley startups were legally shut out of a brand-new, multi-billion dollar market, while America’s new health-care system is in danger of missing crucial enrollment deadlines.
Here’s the lesson: there are no more “tech issues.” America and startups got hosed because Silicon Valley was politically absent. Since everything now has crucial technology components, the technology industry cannot sit out any issue.
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