THE BLOG
08/17/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Hundreds Join Together To Investigate House Health Care Bill

The House has worked at alarming speed, rushing a mammoth 1,018-page health care bill through two of three committees since the markup process began on Tuesday.

During these preliminary stages of the legislative process, HuffPost's Eyes & Ears is calling on readers to help make sense of the health care bill using Insight, a new interactive research and commenting application.

This is not our first distributive investigation into a big piece of legislation. Hundreds of citizen journalists helped report on major bills like Obama's stimulus package and the financial bailout, finding items in both plans that had previously gone unreported. But using Insight means this can be the most crowd-powered E&E project yet.

Past investigations had limited community interaction. HuffPost readers and our Eyes & Ears investigation teams would email their findings directly to HuffPost editors, who would pool the collective research of hundreds of participants, cull through their findings and feature the best scoops on our homepage.

While these investigations included robust communication between HuffPost editors and individual researchers, they lacked significant interaction between participants.

With this health care investigation we are taking a giant step toward fully horizontal and interactive investigations by partnering with Insight, giving investigators the ability to start a public discussion about individual sections of the bill.

Newly released, Insight was created to give readers the ability to rate the accuracy and importance of widely cited quotes. This project will adapt Insight's interface for a slightly different purpose, allowing you to have a public dialogue on individual line items of legislation. So bear with us, as some aspects on the Insight interface will simply not apply to this project.

Using Insight, readers can create a public comment thread about an individual section of the health care bill simply by highlighting the relevant text. Other investigators will then have the option to comment on and rate the same section of the bill.

If using Insight sounds confusing, that's because there's nothing like it out there. To help you understand understand this new interface, the people at Insight have made a great two-minute screencast.

As Rep. Waxman's Energy and Commerce Committee pores over the bill, more and more people are coming together to discuss the legislation using Insight. Join the investigation here.

Looking into this House bill is just one aspect of HuffPost's Eyes & Ears health care investigation, which is keeping an eye on legislators and lobbyists as the battle over reform evolves.

Next week, citizen journalists at the Huffington Post Health Care Investigative Unit will also be mapping out connections between some of the most influential members of Congress and the funds that drive their campaigns. Meanwhile, reporters are in touch with congressional offices on a regular basis, keeping a record of their latest stances on health care reform.

If you are interested in joining the team, click here and check out Adam Clark Estes's latest update.

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