Obama in Portsmouth on the Government Insurance option.
Now, the only thing that I have said is that having a public option in that menu would provide competition for insurance companies to keep them honest. Now, I recognize, though, you make a legitimate -- you raise a legitimate concern. People say, "Well, how can a private company compete against the government?" And my answer is that if the insurance -- private insurance companies are providing a good bargain, and if the public option has to be self-sustaining -- meaning, taxpayers aren't subsidizing it, but it has to run on charging premiums, and providing good services and a good network of doctors just like any other private insurer would do, then I think private insurers should be able to compete. They do it all the time.
I mean, if you think about it, you know, UPS and FedEx are doing just fine, right? No, they are. I mean, it's the post office that's always having problems. So, right now, you've got private insurers who are out there competing effectively even though a lot of people get their care through Medicare, or Medicaid, or the VA. So, there's nothing inevitable about this somehow destroying the private marketplace as long as -- and this is a legitimate point that you're raising -- that it's not set up where the government is basically being subsidized by the taxpayers. So that even if they're not providing a good deal, we keep on having to pony out more and more money. And I've already said that can't be the way the public option is set up.
OBAMA: It has to be self-sustaining.