Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Wednesday signed on to a letter to Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) asking that he reintroduce the public option to the Senate's healthcare bill.

The letter, which was penned by Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), asks that Reid use the budget reconciliation process to pass the government-run healthcare plan, which would allow the plan to circumvent cloture rules and allow Democrats to approve it with a simple majority.


Sanders is a self-described "democratic socialist" who favors a single-payer healthcare system but has supported the public option throughout the healthcare debate. 

But Reid stripped the Senate bill of the public option after it became clear he could not attract 60 votes for the bill with it included.

But Democrats lost their 60-vote supermajority when Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) was seated as the 41st GOP senator this month after winning a special election to replace the late Sen. Edward Kennedy.

Four senators; Bennet, Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) originally signed the letter to Reid Tuesday.

Sanders follows Democratic Sens. Al Franken (Minn.), Pat Leahy (Vt.), John Kerry (Mass.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.) who signed on to the letter Wednesday morning. 

"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," the letter reads.