WASHINGTON (CNN) - After announcing his intention to move forward with a health care reform bill in the Senate that includes a version of the public health insurance option that would allow states to opt out, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told CNN that he has not ruled out using a budgetary procedure called reconciliation which would allow Democrats to pass the bill with a simple majority.
"It's always an option," Reid told CNN when asked about reconciliation Monday.
Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, told CNN he hopes Democrats don't need to go that route and remained open to putting a bill on the Senate floor that does not include a public option, should the Reid-pushed bill fail. A proposal without a public option would still require 60 votes to move forward in the Senate.
In an interview prior to Reid's announcement Monday, House Democratic Whip Jim Clyburn, D-South Carolina, made a public appeal to Reid to use reconciliation.
"I would say to Sen. Reid that 60 ought not to be the crucial number. 50 ought to be the crucial number," Clyburn said.
While Clyburn said he hoped to get some GOP support for health care, he doesn't think it's worth holding up the bill if Republicans refuse to sign on. "So I think it's good to have bipartisanship, but it's much better to get done for the American people what they would like to see get done."
The Democratic vote counter also admitted what most have suspected, that Democrats know they have to pass health care bill in the House with just Democratic votes. "I don't think there will be a single Republican voting for whatever we do on the House side," Clyburn said.
Clyburn said he expects House Democrats to roll out their health care bill later this week, which will include a government-run health insurance option. But he declined to give any details on how the public option will be structured.
–CNN Associate Producer Martina Stewart contributed to this report.