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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.

Sen. Lamar Alexander, Tennessee Republican, said states are tired of Washington calling the shots when it comes to what teachers learn and how they are evaluated. (Associated Press)

Lamar Alexander, Senate Republicans to test Obama's bipartisanship

A key Republican said Wednesday the Senate GOP will fast-track two conservative priorities — a bill that shields states from Common Core or other national education standards and a state alternative to Obamacare exchanges — as they seek to test President Obama's bipartisanship. Published February 25, 2015

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Obamacare subsidy error forces thousands to re-file taxes

Tax season just got more complicated for hundreds of thousands of Americans, as the Obama administration scrambles to fix an error affecting one out of every five Obamacare customers who received government subsidies to help them pay for coverage on HealthCare.gov. Published February 22, 2015

In this Thursday, Feb. 12, 2015, photo, a laptop shows the HealthCare.com web site during an Affordable Care Act enrollment event at the Fort Worth Public Library in Fort Worth, Texas. For the second year in a row, millions of Americans have signed up for subsidized health insurance under President Barack Obama's law. But as the 2015 sign-up season draws to a close Sunday, the future of the Affordable Care Act remains in doubt.  (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Obamacare officials admit blunder: 800K got faulty tax info from federal website

Bowing to intense pressure, the Obama administration said Friday it will give uninsured Americans exposed to Obamacare's tax for lacking insurance a six-week grace period to enroll in coverage on HealthCare.gov and avoid heftier penalties next year, even though they missed last weekend's deadline to sign up. Published February 20, 2015

FILE - In this Nov. 12, 2014 file photo, the HealthCare.gov website, where people can buy health insurance, is seen on a laptop screen in Portland, Ore. Droves of people signing up for health insurance this weekend may not realize it, but their coverage under President Barack Obama’s law could be short lived. The 2015 enrollment season, which ends Sunday, thus far has avoided last year’s website meltdown. But a Supreme Court case could result in millions of consumers losing financial assistance for their premiums later in the year. (AP Photo/Don Ryan, File)

Vermont the 3rd state to offer relief for Obamacare penalty payers

Uninsured Vermonters who realize they must pay a special tax for lacking health insurance in 2014 can enroll in the state's health exchange even though they missed Obamacare's signup deadline, the state announced Thursday, making it the third state to extend relief to penalty payers. Published February 19, 2015

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

Many uninsured are ignorant of Obamacare mandate tax and lapsed coverage deadline: survey

More than four out of every 10 people likely to be sanctioned for not having health insurance in 2014 heard "nothing or only little" about the Obamacare tax penalty, according to a new study that underscores the potential backlash administration officials could face from uninsured Americans before the April 15 tax deadline. Published February 19, 2015

In this Thursday, Feb. 12, 2015, photo, a laptop shows the HealthCare.com web site during an Affordable Care Act enrollment event at the Fort Worth Public Library in Fort Worth, Texas. For the second year in a row, millions of Americans have signed up for subsidized health insurance under President Barack Obama's law. But as the 2015 sign-up season draws to a close Sunday, the future of the Affordable Care Act remains in doubt.  (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Obama admin takes victory lap over Obamacare figures after signup deadline

Obamacare is working and here to stay, the administration declared Wednesday in extolling last-minute activity that pushed signups to 11.4 million nationwide, including 8.6 million from the HealthCare.gov marketplace that serves 37 states and is under threat at the Supreme Court. Published February 18, 2015

Allen Millette adds to the growing pile of snow in his yard in New Bedford, Mass., Sunday, Feb. 15, 2015. The National Weather Service is reporting snowfall over a foot across eastern Massachusetts, with pockets near 2 feet. (AP Photo/Standard Times, David W. Oliveira)

Obamacare enrollment deadline gets winter weather extension

First it was man-made website glitches, and now it's Mother Nature's wrath that have given Obamacare supporters the excuse to extend application deadlines in the second open enrollment for the health exchanges. Published February 17, 2015

The Obama administration predicted this year that as many as 6 million Americans will pay a penalty on their 2014 taxes. (Associated Press)

Democrats urge Obama to give the uninsured more time to sign up, avoid Obamacare penalty

With the second Obamacare enrollment period in the books, congressional Democrats are already calling on the administration to give those who missed Sunday's deadline more time. They say it's unfair to expect health care consumers to have followed the law's coverage mandate because their first round of Obamacare taxes aren't due until April. Published February 16, 2015

Outgoing Ebola czar Ron Klain listens as President Barack Obama speaks about the Ebola outbreak response by the U.S. in West Africa, Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015, in the South Court Auditorium of the White House complex in Washington. Obama plans to withdraw most US military troops fighting Ebola outbreak in West Africa. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Ron Klain, Ebola czar, stepping down: White House

President Obama said Thursday that his Ebola czar, Ron Klain, is planning to return to the private sector, signaling a further wind-down in the fight against the deadly virus that's killed over 9,000 in West Africa. Published February 12, 2015

A woman is injected by a health care worker, left, as she takes part in an Ebola virus vaccine trial, at one of the largest hospital's Redemption hospital in Monrovia, Liberia, Monday, Feb. 2, 2015. A large-scale human trial of two potential Ebola vaccines got under way in Liberia's capital Monday, part of a global effort to prevent a repeat of the epidemic that has now claimed nearly 9,000 lives in West Africa. (AP Photo/Abbas Dulleh)

Obama lauds U.S. troops, workers in fight against Ebola

President Obama on Wednesday praised U.S. troops and aid workers who entered Ebola's hot zone in West Africa as paragons of American leadership who've set the stage for victory over the deadly virus that's killed more than 9,000. Published February 11, 2015