Under reconciliation, legislation could pass with 50 votes (plus Vice President Biden as a tie-breaker), with no chance of a filibuster. So Democratic leadership could afford to lose a few votes and still be able to pass changes to the Senate bill.
Bayh's colleague, Lincoln, released a statement declaring her opposition to the idea.
"I am opposed to and will fight against any attempts to push through changes to the Senate health insurance reform legislation by using budget reconciliation tactics that would allow the Senate to pass a package of changes to our original bill with 51 votes," she said. "I will not accept any last-minute efforts to force changes to health insurance reform issues through budget reconciliation, and neither will Arkansans."
Nelson suggested abandoning comprehensive reform altogether and adopting an incremental approach.
"This is one where we need to make a pie a piece at a time," Nelson said. "We've tried a comprehensive approach and it's clear that won't be possible."
(This post was edited from the original.)