President Obama plans to meet face-to-face with labor leaders Friday to try and quell their opposition to Obamacare, as Republicans warn that the administration might offer a sweetheart deal to give their workers extra health care subsidies.
But while labor leaders hear out the White House, state-level union bosses are on their way back from the national conference of the AFL-CIO, and they've got a message for state lawmakers and Congress:
"We want changes to Obamacare."
At this week's national conference of the AFL-CIO, an umbrella group for dozens of labor unions, union leaders approved a resolution formally calling for changes to the Affordable Care Act. The AFL-CIO said it's concerned about the affordability and accessibility of health insurance under Obamacare, and also worries that workers' hours may be cut back as an unintended consequence of the law.
In short, the AFL-CIO shares many of the same concerns opponents of the health care law have been raising for a long time.
But the AFL-CIO is not a group of tea party Republicans determined to defund the law. The group was among the biggest advocates for the ACA when it passed Congress in March 2010.
Things haven't gone according to plan since then.
"I haven't heard from anyone who thinks this is moving smoothly," said Jon Hendry, president of the New Mexico Federation of Labor/AFL-CIO. "We support the ACA but it has to be fixed."