The president will address the labor union on Sept. 15, the date on which Senate Democrats may decide to abandon efforts at bipartisanship. Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) has been working with a few members of the Senate Finance Committee to shape a compromise bill, but he said he would press forward without GOP support by that date.
The AFL-CIO's up-and-coming president reportedly said today that Democrats must support a government-run health insurance plan, or "public option," with or without Republican votes.
"I think they need to understand that that you can have a bill that guarantees quality, affordable health care for every American, or you can have a bill the Republicans will vote for," Richard Trumka, currently the AFL-CIO's secretary-treasurer, said today, according to the Associated Press. "But you can't have both."
Trumka, who is positioned to become the next AFL-CIO president, reportedly repeated his assertion that the AFL-CIO will pull its support for Democrats who do not advocate for a public option.
Mr. Obama, who has said that a public option is not essential for health care reform, benefitted from the endorsement of labor unions in the 2008 presidential election.