Sestak On House-Senate Health Care Negotiations: ‘Can’t Be A Roll Over’

Rep. Joe Sestak said he will keep pushing House leaders not to fold under pressure from the Senate to make the health care bill more conservative.

“It can’t be a roll over,” Sestak (D-PA) said on MSNBC’s The Ed Show last night. “This agenda is not over, yet.”

Several progressives were holding their powder as leadership predicted they would do just that and roll over to pass a compromise bill that does good and ends the intraparty fighting.

But Sestak wrote Speaker Nancy Pelosi a letter saying the Senate bill lacks many key elements central to reform.

“It is not acceptable for the House to simply accept the compromises made to appease members of the Senate, especially when those compromises weaken the bill at the expense of working families,” he wrote. “We urge you to fight to preserve the best components of both bills, House and Senate, in Conference Committee.”He also held a rally this week with activists from Health Care for America Now in Philadelphia.

Sestak has amped up his rhetoric all year as he vies for the Democratic nomination for the Senate in Pennsylvania.

He’s challenging Sen. Arlen Specter, a Republican-turned-Democrat, and said on MSNBC he is willing to risk his election over the bill.

Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND) said on MSNBC this week the final compromise needs to be “very close” to Senate legislation.

“It is always difficult to get 60 votes in the United States Senate,” he said. “If the final package is not close … it will be very hard to get 60 votes in the Senate.”

We’ve got the MSNBC clip with Sestak, and former DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe appears at the end calling for everyone to get along.

“Let’s stay positive,” McAuliffe says.

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