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Tom Howell Jr.

Tom Howell Jr.

Tom Howell Jr. covers politics for The Washington Times. He can be reached at

Articles by Tom Howell Jr.

FILE - This Nov. 29, 2013 file photo shows part of the website in Washington, on Nov. 29, 2013. The new year brings the big test of President Barack Obama’s beleaguered health care law: Does it work? The heart of the law springs to life Jan. 1, 2014, after nearly four years of political turmoil and three months of enrollment chaos. Patients will begin showing up at hospitals and pharmacies with insurance coverage bought through the nation’s new health care marketplaces.(AP Photo/Jon Elswick, File)

Deadline extension boosts Obamacare sign-ups

States running their own health care exchanges say tens of thousands of enrollees are taking advantage of deadline grace periods to sign up for health plans — boosting the White House's enrollment tally while underscoring the glitches that made the extensions necessary. Published April 8, 2014

**FILE** Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, center, flanked by Rep. Joe Pitts, R-Pa., left, and Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Lauren Victoria Burke)

Brady accuses Obama administration of selective law

Rep. Kevin Brady says the Obama administration is picking and choosing when it has the authority to tweak the health care law and when it does not, ultimately bending the situation to its own needs. Published April 8, 2014

Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, Arizona Democrat, applauded Congress' bipartisan effort to reverse the planned cuts to Medicare Advantage payments. (Associated Press)

Medicare will see boost, not cuts, in 2014

Bowing to intense election-year pressure from both Democrats and Republicans, the Obama administration reversed course Monday and said that rather than cutting Medicare Advantage payments, it will actually boost them next year. Published April 7, 2014

Portraits of former Presidents Goerge W. Bush, left, and his father George H.W. Bush which are part of the exhibit "The Art of Leadership: A President's  Diplomacy," are on display at the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in Dallas, Friday, April 4, 2014. The exhibit of world leader portraits painted by George W. Bush opens Saturday and runs through June 3.  (AP Photo/Benny Snyder)

Bush: Art is for library, not for ego

Former President George W. Bush said he decided to exhibit his portraits of world leaders to spruce up his presidential library — not to show off, he said Friday. Published April 4, 2014

Courtesy of James Pearson's Twitter account

Report: Did North Korea rip off NASA's logo?

North Korea may view the United States as the great imperial enemy, but that didn't keep it from cribbing off NASA's logo in designing its own space agency's graphics, the Guardian reports. Published April 4, 2014

** FILE ** Retired surgeon Ben Carson. (Associated Press)

Paging Dr. Carson! GOP makes House call for surgeon to replace Obamacare

With a major Obamacare sign-up deadline past, Republicans are turning their attention to the "replace" half of their repeal and replace strategy, hoping to make up ground lost over the past four years as they seek to show voters that they have an alternative to the president's health care overhaul. Published April 3, 2014

President Barack Obama speaks about the Affordable Care Act, Tuesday, April 1, 2014, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington.  (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

House passes bill to change Obamacare's workweek from 30 hours to 40

Eighteen House Democrats ignored President Obama's veto threat and helped Republicans pass a bill Thursday that rewrites the health care law to define full-time work as 40 hours per week — and not 30 — out of concern the current rules are forcing Americans to work fewer hours and earn less. Published April 3, 2014

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius sits in the audience as she waits for President Barack Obama to make a statement on the Affordable Care Act, Tuesday, April 1, 2014, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Obama administration tweaks Medicare to accomodate gay marriage

The Health and Human Services Department said Thursday it is taking additional steps to bring its Medicare rules in line with the 2013 Supreme Court ruling that opened up federal benefits to people in same-sex marriages. Published April 3, 2014

** FILE ** This Nov. 21, 2013, file photo shows New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie speaking at the Republican Governors Association (RGA) 2013 annual conference in Scottsdale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ralph Freso, File)

RGA breaks its first-quarter record for fundraising

The Republican Governors Association said Thursday it set a first-quarter fundraising record for itself by raking in $23.5 million — double the amount it raised at the same point in 2010, a comparable midterm election season. Published April 3, 2014