First-Ever Obamacare Demographics Are In - And They're Ugly

Until last Monday, not a single Obamacare demographics statistic had been released since open enrollment began in October 2013.

Now we have our first-ever look at who is signing up for Obamacare - and the number is alarming.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human services, only 24% - or 489,460 - of the 2.15 million people who have signed up for the healthcare from Oct. 1 to Dec. 28 are in the critical 18 to 34 age range.

That falls drastically short of the 40% needed to make the economics of the new healthcare system work, according to Obama administration and experts.

"There's no way to spin it: youth enrollment has been a bust so far," Brendan Buck, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, R-OH, said in a statement following the release of the demographics data. "When they see that Obamacare offers high costs for limited access to doctors - if the enrollment goes through at all - it's no surprise that young people aren't rushing to sign up."

Here's how bad it is.

The Alarming Problem with Obamacare Demographics

The government's goal is for 7 million people to enroll in the healthcare exchanges by March 2014. About 2.7 million of them need to be young adults aged 18 to 34.

The crucial 18- to 34-year-old enrollees are considered "invincibles" - they'll require less medical attention and therefore be less of a financial drain on the healthcare system.

It is vital that invincibles make up about 40% of total Obamacare participants in order to keep premiums affordable. It's a balance against the older, less healthy population, who will naturally be more costly to the greater pool.

Without this balance, insurers will be forced to raise rates.

The present Obamacare demographics reflect that adults from ages 55 to 64 are the largest group of enrollees, at 33% of total sign-ups. More than half of those who have signed up are between ages 45 and 64.

The demographics statistics have Obamacare critics repeating warnings that the law will hurt middle class workers by driving up costs and force a trillion-dollar barrage of new taxes on working Americans. Some analysts have gone as far to say that Obamacare could lead to another depression.

But from this Obamacare mess comes opportunity.

Money Morning Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald notes that more Americans became millionaires during the Great Depression than at any other point in history.

"Obamacare is one of the single biggest wealth creation opportunities to hit the markets in decades," Fitz-Gerald said. "That's because huge amounts of money - trillions - will be spent as Obamacare gets rolling."

That's why we've been saying for months that Obamacare will create riches for investors who tap into the right companies, like these...

Get Prepared Today for What Obamacare Will Bring

"There's a handful of key investments you can make today that will not only protect your portfolio from the financial firestorm of Obamacare, but can be expected to reward you richly as it takes effect," Fitz-Gerald said.

Here are five areas that will provide the biggest investment opportunities:

  • Growth in the vaccine industry is expected to reach as much as 15% a year for the foreseeable future, which is more than double the 5% to 7% growth rate for generalized pharmaceutical companies. "The vaccine business, which used to be a slow-moving 'backwater' of the pharmaceutical industry, is about to go off like a geyser," Fitz-Gerald said. The World Health Organization estimates the world vaccine market will be worth $100 billion by 2025 - four times what it is today.
  • Cancer treatments are also about to explode, according to Fitz-Gerald. The disease is going to attract a disproportionate amount of money in the healthcare system.
  • Billing engines and providers of healthcare technology are two other niches currently attractive.
  • Healthcare operators and data security firms will flourish.
  • Finally, the best buys will come from micro-cap biotechs focused on obesity, virus control, diabetes, geriatric nutrition, and "offshoot drugs" that have yet to go mainstream.

Editor's Note: For a short time, Money Morning is allowing readers the chance to view Fitz-Gerald's premium Obamacare research. This shows the average investor the specific Obamacare stocks that can make you rich. To find out how to make a fortune from Obamacare, get started here.