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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** House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (left), Virginia Republican (Associated Press)

Administration stretches another Obamacare deadline

The Obama administration said Friday that customers on the Obamacare health insurance exchange will have eight more days to sign up for health coverage this December and still be covered by Jan. 1. Published November 22, 2013

"It's a complete failure for me. It won't let you progress. It freezes up," Sen. Tom Coburn, Oklahoma Republican, says of his attempts to sign up for Obamacare using the HealthCare.gov website. (associated press)

Obamacare sign-up befuddles congressmen, too

For weeks, Capitol Hill lawmakers have heard stories of both frustration and success from folks back home trying to sign up for Obamacare. Now, lawmakers have their own tales to share. Published November 21, 2013

**FILE** House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (center), Virginia Republican, leaves the office of House Speaker John Boehner, Ohio Republican, on Capitol Hill in Washington on Nov. 15, 2013, before a vote on a measure to let insurers keep offering health coverage that falls short of the law's standards. (Associated Press)

Republicans say new report points to Obamacare security problems

House Republicans on Tuesday used President Obama's damaged credibility and a leaked consultant's report from last spring to launch a fresh round of attacks against all things Obamacare, raising new questions about the testing and security of the federal health insurance marketplace. Published November 19, 2013

** FILE ** Rep. Jim McDermott, Washington Democrat. (Associated Press)

States take up the fight against Obama's changes to health care law

The tumultuous Beltway fight over Americans who lost their health plans because of Obamacare is shifting to the states, where regulators will decide whether to heed President Obama's proposal to let Americans renew their plans — or rebuff him to preserve the core mission of his signature law. Published November 17, 2013

Rep. Fred Upton, Michigan Republican (Associated Press)

House set to vote on Republican fix for Obamacare woes

The House is set to vote on a bill Friday that would let Americans hold health plans in the coming year that do not comply with Obamacare, a key test for Democrats torn between angry constituents who are losing their plans and their own party's remedies — including President Obama's new "fix" that lets existing customers renew their barebones plans. Published November 15, 2013

President Barack Obama speaks about his signature health care law, Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013, in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington. Bowing to pressure, the president intends to permit continued sale of individual insurance plans that have been canceled because they failed to meet coverage standards under the health care law, officials said Thursday. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Obama concedes, announces changes to health care law

President Obama said Thursday he will let Americans renew for one year any health plans that do not meet Obamacare's coverage standards — a stark attempt to quell the political firestorm around his broken promise that those who like their insurance coverage can keep it under his signature law. Published November 14, 2013

The main landing page of the HealthCare.gov website is pictured on Monday, Oct. 28, 2013. (AP Photo/Department of Health and Human Services)

Obamacare numbers reveal how fate of law rests on website

The federal Obamacare exchanges cover two-thirds of the country, but accounted for just 25 percent of first-month enrollment in the new health markets, signaling just how closely the fate of President Obama's signature law is intertwined with a broken federal website. Published November 14, 2013

** FILE ** President Obama wipes away sweat during a speech at Georgetown University on June 25, 2013. (Associated Press)

White House releases disappointing Obamacare enrollment total: 106,000

The Obama administration said Wednesday that roughly 106,000 Americans had enrolled in private health coverage through Obamacare by selecting a plan during the first month of activity, an expectedly low number of participants as the White House scrambles to fix the overhaul's main website. Published November 13, 2013

Rep. Darrell E. Issa (center), California Republican, speaks with Obama administration technology officials as they prepare to testify before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee about failures with the HealthCare.gov website and problems implementing Obamacare, on Capitol Hill in Washington on Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013. From left to right are Henry Chao, deputy chief information officer for Medicare and Medicaid services; Frank Baitman, deputy assistant secretary for information technology at the Department of Health and Human Services; Mr. Issa, chairman of the committee; Todd Park, chief technology officer at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy; and Steve VanRoekel, chief information officer at the Office of Electronic Government in the Office of Management and Budget. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Only 106,000: Obamacare enrollment falls far short of goal

Only about 106,000 Americans enrolled in Obamacare's health care exchanges during the first month and fewer than 27,000 of those were from the federally run exchanges, the administration said Wednesday, finally releasing numbers showing just how rocky the rollout has been for President Obama's signature initiative. Published November 13, 2013

**FILE** Sen. David Vitter, Louisiana Republican (Associated Press)

Sen. David Vitter uses pharmacy bill to challenge Obamacare

Sen. David Vitter wants to know if fellow lawmakers are skirting the letter of the law by exempting staff members from state-based Obamacare markets, and he is willing to hold up a pharmaceuticals bill that breezed through a key test vote late Tuesday to get his colleagues to fess up. Published November 12, 2013

**FILE** President Barack Obama speaks at Temple Emanu-El on Nov. 6, 2013, in Dallas, as he promotes his health care law. (Associated Press/The Dallas Morning News, Louis DeLuca)

Study: Just 3 percent of projected Obamacare enrollees have signed up

Just 3 percent of those expected to eventually sign up for Obamacare's state-based health markets in a dozen states running their own markets have actually signed up so far, according to an analysis Monday from a health consultancy that predicted the pace will eventually pick up. Published November 11, 2013

** FILE ** Sen. Kay R. Hagan, North Carolina Democrat, is pictured after taking part in a re-enactment of the ceremonial Senate swearing-in on Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2009, in the Old Senate Chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Sen. Kay Hagan gets tough on flawed Obamacare rollout

Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan is calling on federal inspectors to investigate the "unacceptable" rollout of the federal Obamacare website to examine what went wrong, who was at fault and how much it is costing to fix the mess. Published November 11, 2013

Rep. Fred Upton, Michigan Republican (Associated Press)

GOP set to jump on low Obamacare enrollment numbers

The Obama administration is set to release Obamacare enrollment data this week, figures that promise to be low and likely will feed further into Republican attempts to discredit the health care law. Published November 10, 2013