A cross section of Senate Democrats, who met Friday evening and again on Saturday, are close to whittling down a handful of public option blueprints in an effort to find an as-yet elusive compromise that can net at least 60 votes for passage.
About nine members, representing the party's progressive wing and its more conservative one, met Friday and over a rare weekend session to map out a measure that would be feasible to a wide swath of Democrats.
Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), long a proponent of a strong public health insurance option, said the meeting was an indication that talks among a splintered group of party members have grown more serious as the end of the year nears.
“There's no question about that,” he said Friday night. “And also this should have started a long time ago and thankfully (Majority Leader) Harry Reid caught it in time to put us together.”