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One Union Leader Is So Frustrated With Obamacare He Did Something a Little Unexpected

Supporters of U.S. President Barack Obama respond during his speech at the annual AFL-CIO Labor Day picnic at Coney Island September 7, 2009 in Cincinnati Ohio. President Obama spoke to union members about his administration's recovery plan and proposed health care reform. (Photo by Mark Lyons/Getty Images)

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky. met Tuesday with chief of the national hotel workers union Tuesday to discuss the union's Obamacare complaints (AP)

The chief of the national hotel workers union is “bitterly disappointed” with the Affordable Care Act -- and he decided this week to meet with Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), a longtime opponent of the bill.

Donald “D” Taylor, the general president of the Las Vegas-based UNITE HERE, met with the Senate Minority leader for a private meeting Tuesday that reportedly touched on the union’s grievances with President Obama’s signature health care law, according to the Las Vegas Review Journal.

McConnell confirmed that the two met in the nation’s capital, adding that it was Taylor who requested the get-together.

“It was a fairly brief meeting but it’s safe to say this is a good example of some of the president’s union constituents who were very enthusiastically for him who think Obamacare has been a disaster for them,” McConnell said after the meeting.

The Kentucky Republican added that Taylor did not get into the specifics of his complaints against the Affordable Care Act, but he said the meeting was an “exchange of pleasantries.”

A spokeswoman for the union leader told the Review Journal Tuesday that Taylor had indeed travelled to the nation’s capital, but she would not confirm if he had additional meetings in Washington.

Taylor did not meet with Senate Majority Leader and Obamacare supporter Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.), a spokesperson with the senator’s office confirmed.

When asked about Taylor’s Obamacare complaints, the Senate Majority Leader replied: “I’ll talk with D.”

The union leader’s visit to the nation’s capital comes weeks after him and Terry O’Sullivan of the Laborers’ International Union of America complained in a letter to Reid and Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) that the White House has been ignoring their Obamacare complaints.

Labor leaders are upset that the Affordable Care Act doesn’t offer benefits or subsidies that would help offset the cost to workers’ union-negotiated plans.

And contrary to earlier reports, these concerns have not been addressed by the Obama administration, Taylor and O’Sullivan said in their letter to Pelosi and Reid.

“If the administration honestly thinks that these proposed rules are responsive to our concerns, they were not listening or they simply did not care,” the union leaders said. “It would be a sad irony indeed if the signature legislative accomplishment for an administration committed to reducing income inequality cut living standards for middle income and low-wage workers.”

Taylor added in an interview last week with the Washington Post: “We want to hold the president to his word: If you like your health-care coverage, you can keep it, and that just hasn’t been the case.”


Follow Becket Adams (@BecketAdams) on Twitter

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