Pres. addresses Congress about health care

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama says an option to private insurance should be part of any health care overhaul. He says it would keep insurance companies honest.


UNCUT: Entire healthcare speech

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Obama told Congress Wednesday night that the government-run option would be part of an insurance exchange for last-resort coverage. Obama said the Congressional Budget Office estimates that less than 5 percent of Americans would sign up for the option. Obama said the public option would not be subsidized by taxpayers, but would be self-sufficient and rely on the premiums it collects.

He said the public option is a way to ensure affordable health care through competition, but he's open to other ideas.