Commentary: Obama's health care speech was on target

President Barack Obama's address to Congress and the nation was clear, simple and direct. He succeeded Wednesday night in promoting a strong package of needed health care reforms in America.

It's time for Congress to follow the president's lead. Stop the partisan bickering. Start the constructive debate.

Lawmakers this fall should pass a bill that eventually will make sure 300 million Americans receive better, less costly health care in the future. As the president stressed, that is the morally correct action to take, especially for millions of people without insurance or at risk of losing insurance.

This nation must replace the overly expensive, under-performing status quo in its health care system.

Conventional wisdom said Obama had to come out fighting to promote his plan with skeptical Republicans and wavering Democrats. Mission accomplished. His passionate language and demeanor showed he meant business.

At the start, he said, "I am not the first president to take up this cause, but I am determined to be the last."

And he directly took on irresponsible Republicans who have claimed Obama's plan would create bureaucratic death panels to kill the elderly. "It is a lie, plain and simple," Obama said sternly.

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