Republican Sen. Hatch cites liberal blogger in healthcare speech

Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch (Utah) on Wednesday cited evidence opposing Democrats' healthcare bill from a rather unlikely source: liberal blogger Jane Hamsher of firedoglake.

While railing on Democrats' legislation, which Hatch this afternoon said was an example of "everything that is wrong with Washington today," the Utah Republican channeled Hamsher's latest critique of Democrats' proposed individual mandate.

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"I can't think of a bigger giveaway for the insurance companies than the federal government ordering Americans to buy their insurance products," Hatch said on the floor, referencing a provision in the bill that would require Americans who decline insurance to pay a penalty.

"Jane Hamsher, publisher of the liberal blog 'firedoglake, said the following," Hatch continued. "Having to pay 2% of their income in annual fines for refusing to comply -- with the IRS acting as the collection agency -- just might wind up being the most widely hated legislation of the decade."

The line was a direct quotation from a list of "10 reasons to kill the Senate bill" that Hamsher blasted to her supporters soon after Senate Democrats abandoned their plans for either a public option or a Medicare expansion.

A version of that list also appeared on Hamsher's firedoglake blog, to mixed reactions.

In any case, Hatch's decision to cite Hamsher is sure to earn him the liberal blogosphere's further scorn. While few of its most resonant voices have advocated against the bill or pined Democrats to drop it, almost all agree with her criticism that President Barack Obama and Democrats surrendered their healthcare bill's core principles to Senate moderates and Republicans.

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