Special to CNN
President Obama's decision to address a joint session of Congress on Wednesday is a gutsy gamble - a recognition that the health care reform debate has gone off the rails and needs to be recentered.
At stake is the credibility of one of the president's core campaign appeals to the American people - that he could be a bridge builder who would heal the hyper-partisanship that defined domestic politics during the Bush years.
After a fractious summer, expect the president to call for common ground and try to elevate the debate. He should point out, rightly, that health care reform has been pursued since Harry Truman and that never has such a broad coalition supported reform that decreases costs and increases access.
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