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Tom Howell Jr.

Tom Howell Jr.

Tom Howell Jr. covers politics for The Washington Times. He can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

Articles by Tom Howell Jr.

HHS: More than 450K chose plan on HealthCare.gov in first week

The Health and Human Services Department said Wednesday that 462,000 people selected a health plan through the Obamacare exchanges during the first week of open enrollment, and that roughly half were customers renewing existing plans. Published November 26, 2014

Jonathan Gruber poses in his home in Lexington, Mass., in this Feb. 8, 2011, file photo. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)

Jonathan Gruber, Obamacare 'architect,' agrees to testify before Congress

Jonathan Gruber, an MIT economics professor and key Obamacare adviser, has agreed to testify before the House oversight committee next month after critics unearthed a string of YouTube videos that depict him saying the "stupidity" of the American voter and legislative sleight of hand helped the contentious law make it through Congress. Published November 25, 2014

Licensed clinician Margaret Chilcott removes her outer gloves before disrobing and sanitizing in Anniston, Ala.  As hospitals across the country prepare for a possible new case of Ebola, demand for impermeable gowns and full-body suits has surged. Equipment manufacturers and distributors are scrambling to keep up with the glut of orders, doubling staffs and still facing weekslong backlogs. (Associated Press)

D.C resident off Ebola watch list just in time for Thanksgiving

D.C. resident Brett Sedgewick had been to Liberia and flown back to Washington Dulles International Airport before, but when he returned earlier this month the digital printout of his passport scan had a big "X" on it. Published November 25, 2014

Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn. speaks to supporters, Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014, in Knoxville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)

Lamar Alexander: Anti-discrimination board undermining own mission

A government commission that probes workplace discrimination is chasing shaky legal cases that result in embarrassing and costly losses, a Republican senator charged Monday in a report that says the body has underperformed of late compared to the Bush era. Published November 24, 2014

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio responds to President Barack Obama's intention to spare millions of illegal immigrants from being deported, a use of executive powers that is setting up a fight with Republicans in Congress over the limits of presidential powers, Friday, Nov. 21, 2014, during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. Boehner, who has refused to have his members vote on broad immigration legislation passed by the Senate last year, said earlier that Obama's decision to go it alone "cemented his legacy of lawlessness and squandered what little credibility he had left."  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

John Boehner files long-awaited lawsuit over Obamacare

House Speaker John A. Boehner filed a long-awaited lawsuit Friday that alleges President Obama took unlawful steps to delay part of his health care law and is paying out funds to insurers without congressional approval. Published November 21, 2014

In this photo taken Friday, Nov. 14, 2014, health workers spray disinfectant around a mosque after the body of a man suspected of dying from the Ebola virus was washed inside before being berried  in Bamako, Mali. It all started with a sick nurse, whose positive test results for Ebola came only after death. In a busy clinic that treats Bamako’s elite as well as wounded U.N. peacekeepers, who was the patient who had transmitted the virus? Soon hospital officials were taking a second look at the case of a 70-year-old man brought to the capital late at night from Guinea suffering from kidney failure. On Friday, Malian health authorities went to disinfect the mosque where the 70-year-old’s body was prepared for burial - nearly three weeks ago. Already some are criticizing the government for being too slow to react when health authorities had announced his death as a suspected Ebola case earlier in the week.(AP Photo/Baba Ahmed)

WHO outlines six Ebola cases in Mali

The World Health Organization said Thursday that Mali, a West African country, has suffered six official cases of Ebola, with five of them proving fatal. Published November 20, 2014

Obamacare stats inflated when dental plans mistakenly included in tallies

The Obama administration acknowledged Thursday it mistakenly included up to 400,000 dental plans in the 7.1-million enrollment figure it touted before Obamacare's second round, a move that nudged them above congressional budget estimates for participation in the contentious overhaul. Published November 20, 2014

Former Rep. Ron Paul describes his new voicesofliberty.com website as a "digital bully pulpit" for early stage political ideas. (Associated Press) ** FILE **

Ron Paul says Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio are 'pretty average'

Ron Paul, a former presidential candidate and longtime congressman, is mum on a potential presidential bid by his son, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky. But he does have a few opinions about his son's potential GOP rivals in 2016. Published November 19, 2014

Workers load a cargo jet with tons of Ebola relief supplies at Charlotte Douglas International Airport in Charlotte, N.C., on Nov. 5, 2014. The International Christian charity Samaritaan's Purse is shipping the supplies to Liberia. (Associated Press/The Charlotte Observer, Todd Sumlin) **FILE**

Liberian ambassador to U.S.: Ebola travel ban would stigmatize my country

A ban on travelers between West Africa and the U.S. during the Ebola outbreak would stigmatize Liberia, scare off much-needed aid workers to combat the disease and dissuade investors from buttressing its battered economy, the country's ambassador to the U.S. said Wednesday. Published November 19, 2014

In this Nov. 13, 2014, file photo, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn responds to a question after announcing the second year of open health care enrollment under the Affordable Care Act that began Saturday, Nov. 14, during a news conference in Chicago. Illinois lawmakers may have one more chance to approve a state-run health insurance marketplace during the fall legislative session that starts Wednesday, Nov. 19. Quinn supports the idea. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, File)

Illinois mulls its own Obamacare exchange as pressure mounts

A looming deadline for federal Obamacare grants and action at the Supreme Court have put pressure on Illinois lawmakers to decide if they want to set up their own health exchange or continue to rely on the federal HealthCare.gov portal. Published November 19, 2014

In this Friday, Nov. 14, 2014, photo, a nurse walks down a hallway alongside a patient care room in a new custom-built bio-containment unit for potential Ebola cases at Mount Sinai Hospital, in New York. The unit, built over two weeks, is completely separate from the main medical buildings and can house three patients simultaneously. (AP Photo/John Minchillo) ** FILE **

NYC woman tests negative for Ebola

New York City officials said early Wednesday the remains of a woman who recently arrived from West Africa have tested negative for Ebola. Published November 19, 2014