Four Senate Democrats wrote Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidDemocrats brace for tough election year in Nevada The Memo: Biden's horizon is clouded by doubt Fight over Biden agenda looms large over Virginia governor's race MORE (D-Nev.), asking him to revive the public option in the Senate's healthcare bill.
Sen. Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetBuilding back better by investing in workers and communities Biden signs bill to help victims of 'Havana syndrome' Colorado remap plan creates new competitive district 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 GillibrandOvernight Energy & Environment — Biden makes return to pre-Trump national monument boundaries official Biden signs bill to help victims of 'Havana syndrome' Lawmakers using leadership PACs as 'slush funds' to live lavish lifestyles: report MORE (D-N.Y.), Jeff MerkleyJeff MerkleySenate to vote next week on Freedom to Vote Act Democrats call on White House to explore sharing Moderna technology abroad Lawmakers introduce bill to limit data collection at border crossings MORE (D-Ore.), and Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownBuilding back better by investing in workers and communities US on track to miss debt payments as soon as Oct. 19: analysis On The Money — Presented by NRHC — Democrats cross the debt ceiling Rubicon MORE (D-Ohio).
"The Senate has an obligation to reform our unworkable health insurance market -- both to reduce costs and to give consumers more choices," the senators added. "A strong public option is the best way to deliver on both of these goals, and we urge its consideration under reconciliation rules."
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.