The Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, has 16 days left in public enrollment before the deadline lapses and people are unable to purchase insurance for 2014. With 4.2 million enrolled in the public exchanges, Obamacare has certainly improved from its early showing in December, when website glitches slowed the beginning of the rollout.

The government had originally set 7 million enrollees as the target, but more recently Vice President Joe Biden indicated that 5 or even 6 million enrollees would be a great start for the law, especially given the technical difficulties that have plagued the website. This acknowledgement has been taken by many as a signal that the administration is not confident it can deliver on that original promise. Certainly, the administration has been pulling out all the stops in a last-ditch effort to get as many Americans insured as possible -- including President Obama and Zach Galiafanakis appearing together on a recent internet video that went viral.

Investors need to consider what may happen if Obamacare falls short of its enrollment goal and what this will mean for the various insurers involved in the public exchanges. In this video, health care analysts David Williamson and Michael Douglass discuss the state of play with the law and its implications for health insurers Aetna (NYSE:AET), WellPoint (NYSE:ANTM), and Molina (NYSE:MOH).

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.