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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 ** Kentucky Gov. Steven L. Beshear. (Associated Press)

Beshear a lonely Southern fan of Obamacare

Kentucky Democratic Gov. Steven Beshear on Friday unabashedly lauded his state's success in rolling out Obamacare in the face of state voters who never warmed to President Obama and a pair of Republican senators who bash the new health law at every turn. Published January 24, 2014

Rep. Fred Upton, Michigan Republican (Associated Press)

Moody's downgrades health insurers, citing Obamacare

The nation’s health insurers have been damaged by the shaky Obamacare rollout, a top credit-rating agency said as it downgraded the industry’s outlook Thursday — even as new numbers suggested President Obama’s health law is showing some successes. Published January 23, 2014

**FILE** Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Sebelius urges mayors to back Medicaid expansion

President Obama’s top health official urged the nation’s mayors to take an active role in demanding their states expand Medicaid, calling out Texas, Florida and Georgia as states that put low-income residents at risk of losing out on any form of subsidized coverage. Published January 22, 2014

In this Dec. 19, 2013, file photo, a passer-by walks near an entrance to a Target retail store in Watertown, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File) **FILE**

Target sends part-time workers to Obamacare

Retail giant Target Corp. has decided to drop its health care plan for part-time workers, citing low participation and saying its workers will be better off applying for coverage under the Obamacare insurance exchanges. Published January 22, 2014

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius speaks on the release of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report on the 'The Health Consequence of Smoking 50 Years of Progress', Friday, Jan. 17, 2014, in the South Court Auditorium in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House complex in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Obama's last-ditch plan to let Americans keep health plans has minimal impact: study

President Obama's decision to let Americans keep bare bones insurance plans that do not meet Obamacare's criteria is unlikely to send new marketplaces into a "death spiral," in which health premiums steadily rise as young, healthier people are driven out of the market in favor of older, sicker consumers Published January 21, 2014

**FILE** President Obama pauses while speaking about his signature health care law in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House on Nov. 14, 2013. (Associated Press)

D.C. restaurant: Obamacare killed our Friday buffet

The owners of a restaurant in the tony Georgetown section of Washington have canceled a popular Friday lunch buffet, saying Obamacare made it too expensive to hire the workers needed to keep the buffet going. Published January 20, 2014

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has political aspirations in Australia. Will voters Down Under see through the WikiLeaks Party's facade and vote against Mr. Assange? It's hard to say.
(Associated Press)

Wikileaks' Assange: Obama's snooping speech 'embarrassing'

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange said Friday it is clear that President Obama would not have unveiled his new spying reforms had it not been for leaks by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden and other whistleblowers, calling Mr. Obama's address on the controversy "embarrassing." Published January 17, 2014

Former CIA Director Michael V. Hayden (Associated Press)

Ex-NSA boss Hayden: Obama to put Americans at ease with spy programs

Retired Gen. Michael Hayden, former director of the National Security Agency, said Friday that President Obama's speech on reforms to U.S. spying programs will focus on making people feel comfortable with the practices — not sweeping changes. Published January 17, 2014

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio meets with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014. On Wednesday, the Republican-run House passed an immense $1.1 trillion spending package, a bipartisan compromise that all but banishes the likelihood of an election-year government shutdown.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

House Republicans remain focused on Obamacare's problems

House Republicans on Thursday once again tried to shine a bright light on Obamacare’s problems and possible security flaws, as Obama administration officials admitted they were wrong about the website’s readiness but said the warning signs weren’t strong enough to convince them to delay the rollout. Published January 16, 2014

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie delivers his State Of The State address at the Statehouse, Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014, in Trenton, N.J. Faced with a widening political scandal that threatens to undermine his second term and a possible 2016 presidential run, Christie apologized again Tuesday, saying his administration "let down the people we are entrusted to serve" but that the issue doesn't define his team or the state. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Chris Christie favorability remains high despite 'Bridgegate'

New Jersey voters are giving Gov. Chris Christie the benefit of the doubt as he fights for his political life over a traffic-jam scandal, according to new polling that says more residents see him as a leader than as a bully who takes swipes at political foes. Published January 15, 2014

Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman is shown here on the 2012 presidential campaign trail, when he made a bid for the White House. (Associated Press)

Jon Huntsman tapped as Atlantic Council chairman

Former Utah governor and GOP presidential candidate Jon Huntsman Jr. has been tapped to lead the Atlantic Council, a nonpartisan think tank in Washington that promotes "constructive leadership and engagement" in international affairs. Published January 15, 2014

** FILE ** Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013, before the House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on the difficulties plaguing the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

Federal judge backs Obamacare subsidies in win for administration

A federal judge ruled Wednesday that the administration can pay subsidies to all deserving Obamacare enrollees, no matter who runs the exchanges they enrolled in — delivering a significant win to President Obama and preventing opponents from poking a major hole in his signature law. Published January 15, 2014

FILE - In this Sept. 27, 2013, file photo, MNsure insurance exchange representatives Carlos Villanueva, left, and Emily Joyce prepare for the Oct. 1 open enrollment debut at the center in St. Paul, Minn. The federal government hasn’t released comprehensive data on how many people have signed up for health insurance in the 36 states using federally run exchanges, and in the 14 states running their own exchanges, lack of enrollment numbers also makes it hard to say if Obamacare is a success. (AP Photo/Jim Mone, File)

Faith groups see bright side in Obamacare numbers

A network of faith-based organizers is hailing the latest Obamacare enrollment report as a positive barometer for the law, even if the data released Monday show too few young people have signed up so far. Published January 14, 2014