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At Long Last, Obama Fires Back on Health Reform

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As for Republicans, there was an invitation to share credit for a historic reform and a potpourri of ideas that had originated with GOP legislators, including his 2008 rival, Sen. John McCain.

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But for all of the details, the most striking aspect of the address may have been its call to battle: The days of taking incoming fire without any return volleys are over.

"I will not waste time with those who have made the calculation that it's better politics to kill this plan than improve it," he declared. "If you misrepresent what's in the plan, we will call you out. And I will not accept the status quo as a solution. Not this time. Not now."

It seemed as if a politician who had been channeling the detached and cerebral Adlai Stevenson had discovered a new role model in the fighting Harry Truman. For the cause of health-care reform, it was about time.

ejdionne@washpost.com


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