Obama on Health Reform: Time for Bickering Is Over

President addresses Congress in final push
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 9, 2009 8:29 PM CDT
Michelle Obama waves prior to President Obama's speech. Victoria Kennedy, wife of the late Sen. Edward Kennedy, and Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, are second from right and right.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Declaring that the US is at a “breaking point” and that “the time for bickering is over” on health-care reform, President Obama pressed his case before a joint session of Congress tonight. Obama shot down a number of charges from opponents, to applause from supporters, Politico notes—though GOP Rep. Joe Wilson yelled “Lie!” when Obama said the plan wouldn’t cover illegal immigrants.

The mood among the Republican contingent was indeed tense, the New York Times adds. Obama promised that his plan would add no more to the federal deficit, to protect Medicare, and to welcome further attempts to find common ground. He added a salute to the late Ted Kennedy, a longtime champion of health reform, striking a bipartisan note in citing Republicans who’d worked with the Massachusetts Democrat.