[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.