According to ABC News, Trumka spoke on Tuesday, warning fellow Democrats to get behind the creation of a government insurance option or face political "peril" in 2010.
"We will continue to push it and say to them: 'Do so at your peril,"
AFL-CIO secretary treasurer Richard Trumka told ABC News. "If you're not willing to do what you promised to do, you'll have a tough time convincing our members at election time."
Asked to elaborate on what kind of "peril" these Democrats would face, Trumka added, "We're going to tell our members the truth: 'Who stood with them. Who stood for health insurance reform. Who wanted to make the insurance
companies happy versus those who wanted to make Americans healthy. And at election time, I think it will be a tough sell for any politician who is a part of killing health insurance reform to get the support of working Americans."
It should be noted that, by "working Americans," Trumka is talking about union members and, since union members only account for 7.5 percent of the private-sector (and falling), Trumka is insultingly implying that the other 92.5% of Americans don't work.
Trumka said that a public insurance option is one of three "absolute musts" for the AFL-CIO. "It's an absolute must," said Trumka when asked if the AFL-CIO could compromise on the issue. "We won't support the bill if it doesn't have a public option in it."
"There are three absolute musts," he added. "You have to have an employer mandate; you can't tax the benefits of workers to pay for it; and it has to have a public option. Otherwise, you don't get health insurance reform, you don't break the stranglehold of the insurance companies, and the system goes on and on and on as it has. Costs go up, quality of care goes down."
Asked if that means that the AFL-CIO was prepared to work against a bill that does not include a public option, Trumka sidestepped the question, saying, "That means we won't support the bill if it doesn't' have a public option."
Comrade Trumka, perhaps not having your support is a good thing for America.