We’re still processing the results of the Presidential election, which has sparked both protests and celebrations across the nation and deepened divisions in an already polarized America. As a non-partisan, independent public benefit corporation, and also as private citizens, we feel it is important to state what we believe in and what our work means for us.
To be clear: we reject many of the values that Donald Trump has defended during this election cycle. Trump’s actions and statements have been misogynistic, racist, and disparaging of Veterans and people with disabilities. Many Americans are legitimately scared for their basic constitutional rights. This is a tragedy, and falls far from the ideals of American democracy. We do not believe in nor do we condone these values.
We believe in an America that is diverse, respectful, and prosperous. We believe in an America that honors its Veterans. We believe in an America that is innovative and a leader in technology.
We also believe in an America that delivers on the vital services it promises to provide. For millions of people in this country, these services save lives, care for the elderly, support veterans, provide access to education, and feed families. Too often, regardless of intention or politics, the implementation of a government service leaves people falling through the cracks.
We believe that when our democracy commits to a public service, it should deliver in a way that is equitable and effective. Our work is a tireless pursuit towards this goal. We believe that the software powering these services can be radically reimagined to improve the quality of people’s lives. We believe government software can be far easier to use, faster to build, and cheaper to maintain.
Our work continues
We started Nava because of these beliefs, and regardless of politics, our work continues. Almost three years ago, our team was assembled to help fix HealthCare.gov, and we’re proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish — redesigning the application process to help enroll millions in health coverage while saving tens of millions of taxpayer dollars. We’ve also load tested our systems at HealthCare.gov with over a billion users to prove how commodity software can withstand incredible amounts of traffic, and we haven’t stopped there.
We are now working with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to design and architect Medicare’s historic transition towards value-based care. This is a massive effort to align hundreds of billions of Medicare dollars with better patient outcomes, and requires the type of expertise in scale and security that we’ve developed as an organization.
We’ve also begun work with the Department of Veterans Affairs to modernize their appeals process. There are nearly half a million appeals outstanding, and the process is extremely slow — Veterans currently wait five years, on average, to receive a resolution to their appeal. We’re approaching this modernization work with the same focus on human-centered design and agile development that led to streamlining HealthCare.gov.
We’re a public benefit corporation, meaning that we have an obligation deeper than simply pursuing shareholder value. We’ve remained independent to be able to choose work that has a broad and lasting social impact. We partner with government agencies to help modernize their services and set extremely high standards for public software.
Taken together, our work affects the lives of over sixty million people, and there are far more people involved than just our team: tens of thousands of passionate CMS civil servants, VA workers, HealthCare.gov call center representatives, and Medicare clinicians. Our work will have a lasting impact on people’s lives, and it’s these people that we are here for.
We care deeply about this work, and believe strongly in our responsibility as stewards. Because in the end, our focus is on the people we serve — all of the people in this country, regardless of gender, race, age, or income.
The election hasn’t changed the state of services in this country, and there is much further to go. With the rapid shifts in the economic, social, and political fabric of our country, it’s critical that government is responsive to the needs of its people, and can provide broad-based opportunities for everyone. Failing to do so is a threat to the very integrity of our democracy and to the American dream itself.
This is the unending work of creating a more perfect Union, and the core of our mission as a non-partisan and independent public benefit corporation. We do not take this mission lightly, and now more than ever, we’re proud to continue our work.
COO and Cofounder