Will Obamacare Hit Its Magic Number?

Will the Affordable Care Act online exchanges enroll 6 million by the end of March.

Mar 23, 2014 at 6:04PM

The finish line is in sight, with one week left in Obamacare enrollment, and all eyes are watching its dramatic conclusion. The original enrollment goal was 7 million citizens, but after the botched launch of healthcare.gov, the new target is the Congressional Budget Office's 6 million estimate. Now the Obama administration has stated that it doesn't have a specific target, but, rightly or wrongly, the success of the law's first year will be viewed through the lens of where enrollment finishes relative to the CBO's estimate.

With some surprise, it was announced that enrollment crossed the 5 million mark halfway through March. More importantly, the rate of signup is increasing, with 800,000 through the first two weeks of this month alone. This last minute surge has caused an active debate over where that final number will land.

In this segment from Friday's Market Checkup, Motley Fool health-care analysts David Williamson and Michael Douglass play a game of "over/under," with each arguing their case for where the final Obamacare enrollment tally will fall. They also discuss how the final tally will matter to investors in large insurance stocks WellPoint (NYSE:ANTM), Aetna (NYSE:AET), and Humana (NYSE:HUM) in both the short and long terms.

What you need to know about Obamacare
Obamacare seems complex, but it doesn't have to be. In only minutes, you can learn the critical facts you need to know in a special free report called "Everything You Need to Know About Obamacare." This free guide contains the key information and money-making advice that every American must know. Please click here to access your free copy.

David Williamson and Michael Douglass have no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of WellPoint. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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