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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.

FILE - This Nov. 12, 2014 file photo shows the HealthCare.gov website, where people can buy health insurance, on a laptop screen, shown in Portland, Ore. Sign-ups under President Barack Obama's health care law grew slowly but steadily over the New Year's holiday. (AP Photo/Don Ryan)

Admin played favorites with contracting for faulty Obamacare website: report

The agency in charge of Obamacare didn't strategize wisely or look beyond existing government contractors before they doled out 60 contracts to build out HealthCare.gov, according to an inspector general's report Tuesday that sheds light on a federal project that stumbled out of the gate in fall 2013. Published January 20, 2015

FILE - In this May 21, 2013 file photo, Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah listens on Capitol Hill in Washington. Republican senators poised to lead major committees when the GOP takes charge are intent on pushing back many of President Barack Obama's policies, setting up potential showdowns over environmental rules, financial regulations and national security. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

Sen. Orrin Hatch eyes every tool to take down Obamacare

Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch vowed Tuesday to chip away at Obamacare, "piece by piece," saying he hasn't ruled out the use of a powerful, yet complex, budget process to seriously dent the law. Published January 20, 2015

FILE - This Nov. 12, 2014 file photo shows the HealthCare.gov website, where people can buy health insurance, on a laptop screen, shown in Portland, Ore. Not only do more Americans have health insurance, but the number struggling with medical costs has dropped since President Barack Obama's health care law expanded coverage, according to a study released Thursday Jan. 15, 2015. (AP Photo/Don Ryan, File)

Pro-Obamacare group maps out next phase of health care reform

A pro-Obamacare group released a roadmap Monday for the next wave of health reform, from expanding Medicaid in every state to extending dental coverage to all — presenting a progressive counterpoint to Republican lawmakers who want to replace the overhaul with market-driven reforms. Published January 19, 2015

President Barack Obama wipes his face with a cloth handed to him by White House Butler Von Everett in the Blue Room of the White House following an event with business leaders in the East Room, Jan. 28, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Obamacare penalty may come as shock at tax time

Those Americans who didn't get health insurance last year could be in for a rude awakening when the IRS asks them to fork over their Obamacare penalty — and it could be a lot more than the $95 many of them may be expecting. Published January 18, 2015

In a Jan. 9, 2013, file photo, 4-year-old Gabriella Diaz sits as registered nurse Charlene Luxcin, right, administers a flu shot at the Whittier Street Health Center in Boston, Mass. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday, Jan. 5, 2014, reported flu season is getting worse. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)

CDC: Flu vaccine is only 23 percent effective this season

This season's flu vaccine is effective against the virus only 23 percent of the time, a relatively low level of protection compared to years when the flu shot was better matched to circulating strains, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday. Published January 15, 2015

Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell speaks at the Treasury Department in Washington in this July 28, 2014, file photo. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

HHS makes last-minute Obamacare pitch to Hispanics

The administration urged Latinos Wednesday to beat the clock and get covered on Obamacare's exchanges within the next 30 days, citing health disparities among the fast-growing constituency and fixes to its Spanish-language website after a rocky first year. Published January 14, 2015