Obama Asks Unions for Health-Reform Support

President expresses support for public option in speech to AFL-CIO
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 7, 2009 2:51 PM CDT
President Barack Obama speaks at the AFL-CIO Labor Day picnic at Coney Island in Cincinnati, Monday, Sept. 7, 2009.   (AP Photo/David Kohl)
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(Newser) – President Obama honored the achievements of organized labor today, pointing out that iniatives like the minimum wage and paid vacation “bear the union label,” the AP reports. Speaking at an AFL-CIO meeting in Cincinnati, Obama asked for union support in his push to reform the health care system, and he pledged to make progress on a bill that would make it easier for workers to join unions.

"We have never been this close" to reforming health care, Obama said. "We have never had this broad an agreement on what needs to be done." The president didn’t divulge many details of Wednesday's address to Congress on the issue, but he expressed support for a government-run plan, the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. “I continue to believe that a public option within the basket of insurance choices would help improve quality and bring down costs,'' Obama said.