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Obama to address US Congress on health insurance reform

world Updated: Sep 03, 2009 07:35 IST

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In a rather unusual move, the President Barack Obama will address a joint session of the US Congress amid increasing criticism of his health care reform and declining popularity.

"We would like to invite you to address a Joint Session of the Congress on Wednesday, September 9 on health insurance reform," said the House of Representative Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and the Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, in an invitation sent to the US President yesterday.

New reports said Obama plans to unveil his health insurance reform and respond to his critics during his address to the US Congress.

Obama has accepted the invitation, the White House said, and the address is scheduled for the prime time 9 p.m. next Wednesday.The Congress returns from the recess October 8.

"Our nation is closer than ever to achieving health insurance reform that will lower costs, retain choice, improve quality and expand coverage. We are committed to reaching this goal," the two Congress leader said.

It is one of the rare occasions that the US President would be addressing a joint session of the US Congress which is neither a customary State of the Union Address or the traditional first address of the President after is inauguration. It was on September 20, 2001, in the wake of 9/11, that the then president George W Bush, had addressed the US Congress.

"His goal is to create the best possible situation for consumers, create competition and choice," said David Axelrod, his senior advisor.