Here are two segments of Obama's speech this evening. They were within two paragraphs of each other:
Despite all this, the insurance companies and their allies don't like this idea. They argue that these private companies can't fairly compete with the government. And they'd be right if taxpayers were subsidizing this public insurance option. But they won't be. I have insisted that like any private insurance company, the public insurance option would have to be self-sufficient and rely on the premiums it collects. But by avoiding some of the overhead that gets eaten up at private companies by profits, excessive administrative costs and executive salaries, it could provide a good deal for consumers. It would also keep pressure on private insurers to keep their policies affordable and treat their customers better, the same way public colleges and universities provide additional choice and competition to students without in any way inhibiting a vibrant system of private colleges and universities.[bold is mine]
Finally, let me discuss an issue that is a great concern to me, to members of this chamber, and to the public - and that is how we pay for this plan. [bold is mine]
So let me get this straight. The "public option" will be self-financing, with no taxpayer money, but the best analogy he comes up with is of tax-financed universities. Then, two paragraphs later, he has "great concern" about how to pay for the government option. He then goes on to say that if it needs to be paid for, he'll cut spending elsewhere. Aside from the implausibility of government cutting any spending, if his first pledge was right and if he believed it, he wouldn't have any concern about paying for the government option.