Obama to address joint session of Congress on health reform

In order to pacify the opponents to the newly planned healthcare bill, US president Barack Obama has decided to address a joint session of Congress next Wednesday, a day after the lawmakers resume work after a month-long recess.

The Democratic majority in the senate has been stymied in the health care debate by Republicans and conservative Democrats, leaving it short of the 60-vote margin needed to pass the bill.

Scheduling of the speech on Wednesday night, just a day after lawmakers return from their recess, underscores the determination of the White House to confront critics of Obama's overhaul proposals and to boost the morale of supporters who have been thrown on the defensive, say analysts.

The administration aims to expand coverage for the 47 million uninsured Americans in its first year in office. It has five reform bills currently in the Congress (See: Obama proposes $634 billion healthcare spending in 10 years).

US vice president Joseph R Biden said yesterday that in his speech to Congress, Obama will lay out in ''understandable, clear terms'' what he wants to happen in his push for healthcare reform legislation.

''Stay tuned for Wednesday,'' he said.