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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.

HHS: 9.9M still paying for Obamacare coverage

The administration counted 9.9 million paying customers on Obamacare's exchanges as of June 30, according to an enrollment update Tuesday that showed a net drop of 300,000 customers since the end of March due to nonpayment, citizenship or immigration problems or because they got covered elsewhere. Published September 8, 2015

U.S. health authorities have worked feverishly with drug companies to come up with an Ebola vaccine after last year's outbreak. (Associated Press)

Ebola vaccine studies progress as marketing quells suspicions of modern medicine

Ebola had just killed thousands of people in Liberia, and the U.S.-backed pitch to sign locals up for a vaccine trial must have seemed like a tough sell: Take part of the very virus that had devastated the region, combine it with a separate, harmless virus, and inject it into volunteers with the hope they develop Ebola antibodies. Published September 7, 2015

Manufacturers to push Congress for revival of Ex-Im charter

U.S. manufacturers say they're starting to feel the pain from Congress' decision to let the federal Export-Import Bank's charter lapse in June, and are planning to mount a push to revive the obscure, controversial agency when lawmakers return next week. Published September 7, 2015

"Improving bridges, roads and our infrastructure is critical to our economy, but we're going to need time for the House committees to do their work," Speaker John A. Boehner said before the chamber voted to keep road projects moving through Oct. 29 and to fill a $3.3 billion budget hole at the Department of Veterans Affairs. (Associated Press)

House, Senate look to finalize education reform bill

House and Senate lawmakers hoping to avert a government shutdown, pass a long-term highway bill and vote on Iran's nuclear ambitions this fall are squeezing in another item that has bedeviled Congress for years -- settling on a bipartisan rewrite of the No Child Left Behind education law that can win over the White House. Published September 2, 2015

Tori Reichelderfer, 17, shows her support as Planned Parenthood Action Council holds a community rally at the state Capitol in Salt Lake City on Aug. 25, 2015. Planned Parenthood Association of Utah CEO Karrie Galloway says the demonstration is a protest against Gov. Gary Herbert's decision to stop disbursing federal money to Planned Parenthood. (Leah Hogsten/The Salt Lake Tribune via AP) **FILE**

Obamacare grants to Planned Parenthood spark fury on Capitol Hill

The Obama administration announced more than $1 million in grants Wednesday to Planned Parenthood, banking on the women's health care provider to help sell Obamacare to patients and defying congressional Republicans battling to end all public funding for the organization. Published September 2, 2015

Pro-life protesters march by the Supreme Court in Washington on Jan. 22, 2015, during the annual March for Life rally and march to protest the court's landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that declared a constitutional right to abortion. (Associated Press Photo/Jacquelyn Martin/File)

Federal judge shields March for Life from Obamacare birth-control rules

A federal judge Monday blocked the Obama administration from enforcing its birth-control mandate on March for Life, a secular nonprofit, saying the anti-abortion group met the same criteria for an exemption as houses of worship that do not have to comply with the Obamacare rule. Published August 31, 2015

Pediatrician Charles Goodman vaccinates 1-year-old Cameron Fierro with the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine, or MMR vaccine, at his practice in Northridge, Calif., on Jan. 29, 2015. (Associated Press) **FILE**

Vaccination rates still high after Disneyland outbreak sparked debate: CDC

Months after a Disneyland measles outbreak cast a harsh light on the "anti-vaxx" movement, the Obama administration said Thursday that childhood vaccination rates remain high across the country and that less than 2 percent of kindergarteners were exempt from the shot requirements for the 2014-2015 school year. Published August 27, 2015

Obama agenda and legacy in the hands of federal judges

A federal judge in Texas has put President Obama's deportation amnesty on hold, while another judge in the District of Columbia is poised to rule any day now on whether the House can sue to stop parts of the administration's Obamacare spending. Published August 26, 2015

The website, where people can buy health insurance, is displayed on a laptop screen in Portland, Ore., in this Nov. 12, 2014, file photo. (AP Photo/Don Ryan, File)

Obamacare 'Cadillac tax' to hit 1 in 4 employers that offer health care benefits

Obamacare's "Cadillac tax" will hit one in four employers that offer health care benefits, a leading industry analyst says in a report being released Tuesday, socking companies with a massive levy that Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill say is unfair to those who have negotiated high-quality plans as part of their jobs. Published August 25, 2015