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The AFL-CIO draws a line in the sand over the public option.

By Zaid Jilani  

"The AFL-CIO draws a line in the sand over the public option."

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Yesterday, the AFL-CIO drew “a line in the sand” when it outlined three elements any health care bill it supports must have: a public health insurance option, an employer mandate, and no taxation of health benefits. AFL-CIO Secretary Treasurer Richard Trumka told the press that this means the 11 million member-strong labor organization “won’t support the bill if it doesn’t have the public option in it.” Today, Trumka appeared on MSNBC and explained to Norah O’Donnell that the inclusion of these three elements marks the difference between “coming up with a bill that you have reform and actually having health insurance reform.” Watch it:

The AFL-CIO’s declaration comes at time when there is speculation that Obama may be willing to sacrifice the public option, with reports that “some administration officials welcome a showdown with liberal lawmakers … [for] Obama to show he is willing to stare down his own party to get things done.” Despite the political wrangling over the inclusion of a new public plan in the final health care bill, the public remains overwhelmingly in support of including such an option.

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