Fixing could open the door to more problems

President Barack Obama speaks about the Affordable Care Act, the new healthcare laws, alongside healthcare professionals and people affected by the new legislation, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC, October 21, 2013.

There are two sides to the ill-fated rollout of the Affordable Care ActThe big one, the one we've all been hearing about, is the front end -- the website. The bigger one, quite possibly, is the back end. It's the plumbing of actually making sure people and their policies get matched up at insurance companies and at doctors offices. 

Robert Laszewski is president of the health care consulting firm Health Policy Strategy and Associates in Washington. He says that the troubles Americans are facing trying to sign up on are about to get bigger. 

"The bad news is that only a few enrollments are coming through to each insurance company a day -- 10, 15, 20 enrollments. The good news is that's so few they can actually spend the time cleaning them up and getting them right. The risk here is if the government opens up the front door before the backdoor is fixed, and now thousands of enrollments start coming in every day (and) some significant percentage are bad, they're not going to be able to handle it."

About the author

Kai Ryssdal is the host and senior editor of Marketplace, public radio’s program on business and the economy.


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