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Will Obamacare Hit Its Magic Number?

By Dave Williamson and Michael Douglass – Mar 23, 2014 at 12:04PM

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

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, 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 (ELV 0.19%), Aetna (AET), and Humana (HUM -0.59%) in both the short and long terms.

David Williamson and Michael Douglass have no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of WellPoint. 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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