WASHINGTON - Republican Congressman Joe Wilson apologised the other day for calling President Barack Obama a liar during the presidents address to a joint session of the US Congress. During an address on healthcare, Obama challenged claims opponents have been making about proposals to reform healthcare. He said some Americans concerns about reform proposals have grown out of bogus claims spread by those whose only agenda is to kill reform at any cost. The president rejected claims that reform proposals would establish panels of bureaucrats with the power to kill off senior citizens, and said the allegation would be laughable if it werent so cynical and irresponsible. It is a lie, plain and simple, Obama said in what was described as a rare breach of protocol. After he said a claim that healthcare reform would insure illegal immigrants was false, Wilson shouted, You lie. Democrats said it showed lack of respect for the office of the presidency and was reminiscent of Republican disruptions at recent public forums on health care. It is outrageous, said Representative Joseph Crowley, Democrat of New York, who said it reminded him of the antics that are being used to disrupt and fog what is going on. Wilson, who was booed by others in the House chamber, later apologised for the outburst. This evening I let my emotions get the best of me when listening to the presidents remarks regarding the coverage of illegal immigrants in the healthcare bill, he said. While I disagree with the presidents statement, my comments were inappropriate and regrettable. I extend sincere apologies to the president for this lack of civility. Wilson contacted White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, who accepted an apology on behalf of Obama, The New York Times reported. Emanuel said he reached out to Republican leaders after the speech, urging them to identify the heckler and have him apologise quickly, the Times said. No president has ever been treated like that. Ever, Emanuel said. Some Democrats, noting that healthcare reform proposals being considered specifically exclude illegal immigrants, said Wilsons outburst was evidence some Republicans do not want constructive dialogue on the issue, the Times said.