July 2, 2000 10:18 PM   Subscribe

THOMAS allows you to look up, and even link to, any bill that's been before any congress.

For example, I could link to H.R. 1304, the Quality Health-Care Coalition Act of 2000. I could also mention that Tom Coburn (R-OK) added Section 2h to the bill, which says Doctors have no collective bargaining rights when it comes to ensuring women have access to abortion services.
posted by alana (5 comments total)
doesn't everybody know about thomas? i was using that in '96 when i was interning for a think tank.
posted by halonine at 2:05 AM on July 3, 2000

clearly not if I didn't know about it :-) then again, I don't follow policy issues as well as I should.
posted by taveren at 3:47 AM on July 3, 2000

I think Alan mentioned how Thomas works in case anyone reading didn't know, but this was actually just a way for him to introduce the discussion of a political strategic move on the part of republican Coburn with which Alan personally disagreed.

For liberals, Health Care reform is worthless unless it puts the choices for patients back into the hands of the doctors. Coburns Section 2h is an example of a more conservative and restrictive approach to medical reformation in this country, which is why our health care system is in the toilet. Politicians think they know what is best for the health and safety of the American people. "Why allow doctors a say in whether or not it's safe and healthy for a woman to choose an abortion?" Uhm.. because they have a doctorate in how a woman's body works and politicians have a doctorate in how to screw with people's heads.

The Libertarian Party has a more "hands-off" approach to most everything including health care. According to their user poll, I am a libertarian. It's probably a setup though to get more voters. *smirk*
posted by ZachsMind at 4:56 AM on July 3, 2000

if you mean the self-test, don't be so sure. i have run the test with myself and several friends and have found it to be pretty damn accurate in identifying ideology. myself, i came in almost at the middle, leaning conservative.
posted by owillis at 11:38 AM on July 3, 2000

Thomas is terrific in that all this stuff SHOULD be accessible to the average Joe Sixpack. Unfortunately it's lagged behind the rest of the web in certain ways.

The most frustrating part of it is sometimes trying to figure out: are you reading the house bill, the senate bill, the amended bill, the enrolled bill, or the signed bill? Are you reading the summary and sections or the entire thing?

Mainly it should be possible to enter an URL like and get exactly what you're looking for without messing around with their sometimes hopelessly confusing search engine.

I've gotten used to its idiosyncrasies, but I wish the people running it had a better sense of information organization.
posted by dhartung at 4:05 PM on July 5, 2000

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