June 23rd, 2009
01:11 PM ET
12 years ago

Obama: private insurers shouldn't fear public plan playing by same rules

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/06/23/art.obamapresser3.gi.jpg caption="President Obama said Tuesday he was hopeful that an efficiently-run public plan could help push private insurers to make similar cost-cutting moves.”]WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Barack Obama said Tuesday that there is a "legitimate concern" about the ability of private insurers to compete with a public plan "if the public plan is simply eating (from) the taxpayer trough."

If that's the case, it'd be tough for private insurers to compete, Obama said. If, on the other hand, the "public plan must collect premiums and provide (good) services" like private insurers, then private insurers should have no problem competing with a public option.

Obama said he was hopeful that an efficiently-run public plan could help push private insurers to make similar cost-cutting moves.

The president made his remarks during a news conference at the White House.

Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (44 Responses)
  1. RR

    yeah, just like the US Postal Service had not advantage over UPS or Fed Ex because teh USPS can get taxpayer money if it runs a deficit.

    June 23, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  2. Hugo

    Yes, we see how well the government leveled the playing fields for American business and industry in the past. Just take a good look at teh NAFTA and China trade agreements, level playing fields.....right, trust me!

    June 23, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  3. carlo

    You left out the comment the President made, which basically said that the insurance companies shouldn't be afraid of a public option if it is run by the government, which according to Republicans, can't run anything anyway.

    How convenient of you CNN.

    June 23, 2009 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  4. Patrick

    Go Obama – We need comprehensive health care reform.

    He is the right man at the right time to push this American Right to good health care.

    June 23, 2009 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  5. Doug

    If private insurers have nothing to fear, the public plan needs more work.

    June 23, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    He's right, but that won't stop the GOP fear mongering...nor will it stop the misrepresentations of what he's said and what he intends in order to achieve the state of fear they seek to instill. Enter GOPers stage right yammering McCarthyistic drivel.......

    June 23, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  7. Carlena Smithey

    'private insurers shouldn't fear public plan '– oh, but yes they better!!

    June 23, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  8. Ceasar the Great

    And whats to say the government is going to play fair?? Oh and heres another great story from a local Congressman. Dr. Steve Kagan (D, Wis) yesterday when asked about the fact that his area consisted of about 10,000 employees of big insurance if they should fear for their jobs? His response, well they are going to need to just roll with it if everything goes thru. Way to try and get re-elected Dr. Millionaire, just tell a big number of college educated people that they dont matter cuz your agenda is more important.

    June 23, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  9. VGal

    Does ANYONE besides the Republicans actually FEEL SORRY for INSURANCE companies? They make record profits while denying coverage, exempting themselves from anything that takes away from their precious profits and are fat cats that are not run efficiently. This is HEALTH CARE we are talking about...

    June 23, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  10. Larry

    AMEN ...

    But I have a hard time believing that the Insurance companies will give up any of their huge profits

    Just like the oil people ...

    They have us all by the short hairs, and they like it that way ...

    June 23, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  11. Kevin from Co

    Govt run health insurance. Just a another step closer to socialism.

    June 23, 2009 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  12. mark

    if there is no public health insurance, the private insurances will be richer. there will be no competition. Therefore, the american people will end up paying more money for helth insurance.

    June 23, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  13. ran

    I still do not get it. As long as health care insurance is for profit we will never get health care cost under control or available for us all. Health care is a right not a privilege for those who can afford it and our health should never be put up for any kind of profit.

    June 23, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  14. Pat Dunedin Fl

    What a treat to hear Obama, after 8 years of the Village Idiot and
    his court of Jesters , a man that can communicate with the
    public is a Treat!!!!!!

    June 23, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  15. LISA

    Right on Mr. President! Blue cross costs me more each year and yet
    pays for less services. Now explain that to me?

    June 23, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  16. Julia Byrd- Hayden Idaho

    Ask the rotten corrupt insurance companies how much they pay in bonsus for every denial that is generated, it's not about health care it's about money for these rich SOB's. One payor plan for all, that's the only way to go

    June 23, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
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