Four Senate Democrats wrote Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidTrump gets chance to remake the courts Democrats local party problem Trump flirts with Dems for Cabinet MORE (D-Nev.), asking him to revive the public option in the Senate's healthcare bill.
Sen. Michael BennetMichael BennetSenate passes college anti-Semitism bill Speculation and starting points: accreditation, a new administration and a new Congress The untold stories of the 2016 battle for the Senate MORE (D-Colo.) called on Reid to reintroduce the public option into the healthcare debate through the budget reconciliation process, which would short-circuit filibuster rules and allow Democrats to pass a bill with a simple majority in the Senate.
"Although we strongly support the important reforms made by the Senate-passed health reform package, including a strong public option would improve both its substance and the public’s perception of it," Bennet wrote to Reid in a letter cosigned by Sens. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandMeet Trump’s ‘mad dog’ for the Pentagon McCain to support waiver for Mattis, Trump team says Dem senator comes out against waiver for Mattis to be Defense head MORE (D-N.Y.), Jeff MerkleyJeff MerkleyDem senator to Trump: 'You have no mandate' GOP senators wary of nuking filibuster Dem senators charge: Trump not draining the swamp MORE (D-Ore.), and Sherrod BrownSherrod BrownSanders vs. Trump: The battle of the bully pulpit Fight over 'Buy America' provision erupts in Congress Trump’s economic team taking shape MORE (D-Ohio).
Reid had opted to exclude the controversial public insurance option from the Senate's bill after it became clear that he wouldn't be able to muster the necessary 60 votes to pass a bill including the measure.
Since the Senate passed its bill in December, Democrats have lost their 60-vote majority and have been examining options to finish the legislation.
One option under consideration would be for the House to pass a series of fixes to the Senate's bill in order for the whole package to pass muster with House Democrats. That bill -- a so-called "sidecar" bill -- would then pass through the Senate using reconciliation.
Over 100 House Democrats have signed onto a drive similar to Bennet's, calling for that sidecar bill to include provisions reestablishing the public option.