by Anthony Lane
It's been slightly more than a week since U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet unveiled a letter calling on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to put a public health care option in the Senate's reform bill though a process known as reconciliation, which would require a simple majority vote.
Blogger mcjoan at Daily Kos puts the current tally of Senators who have signed on to the letter at 23, as of this morning.
Could the effort bear fruit? We'll have to wait and see, though there's a lot of other news in the health care reform debate this week, including the unveiling of President Barack Obama's own reform plan, which is fairly similar to the version passed by the Senate in December. (Read the New York Times story about the plan here.)
Obama is also planning on holding a health care summit on Thursday in an effort to either make reform bipartisan or to make Republicans look obstructionist.
Talking Points Memo has a story about how Bennet may have gotten started on this quest at the urging of U.S. Rep. Jared Polis of Colorado. For Bennet, facing a primary against fellow Democrat Andrew Romanoff, taking a stand for the public option seems to make a lot of political sense.