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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 - In this Nov. 17, 2014 file photo, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell speaks in Miami. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas accused Burwell of being "contemptuous" of Congress on Wednesday by sidestepping about the Obama administration's preparations for a Supreme Court challenge to President Barack Obama's health care law. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz, File)

Obamacare subsidies cut premiums by average of 72 percent: HHS

Obamacare enrollees who qualify for subsidies on the federal exchange will see their monthly premiums drop by an average of 72 percent in 2015 due to the help from taxpayers, the Obama administration said Monday in a report that underscores the stakes of a health showdown before the Supreme Court this term. Published February 9, 2015

President Barack Obama, a basketball fan, mourned the death of University of North Carolina coaching legend Dean Smith.  (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

White House mourns passing of UNC basketball legend Dean Smith

President Obama mourned the death of University of North Carolina coaching legend Dean Smith, praising the basketball legened and Medal of Freedom winner Sunday as a "gentleman and a citizen" on and off the court. Published February 8, 2015

This Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2014, file photo shows the Anthem logo at the company's corporate headquarters in Indianapolis. Health insurer Anthem said in a statement Wednesday Feb. 4, 2015, that hackers infiltrated its computer network and accessed a swathe of personal information about current and former customers including their incomes and street addresses. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings, File)

Anthem, health insurer, hacked; Social Security numbers exposed

Anthem, the nation's second-largest health insurer, says it was the victim of a "very sophisticated" cyberattack that may have exposed the names and Social Security numbers of tens of millions of past and present members. Published February 5, 2015

"Today we offer a bold bicameral plan that fully repeals and replaces the health care law with reforms that empower patients, not Washington," said Sen. Orrin Hatch, Utah Republican. (Associated Press)

Republicans release Obamacare Plan B in case of repeal or court ruling

President Obama's top health official refused to say Wednesday if she's prepared for a Supreme Court ruling that could blow a hole through Obamacare this year, exasperating Republicans who said the White House is putting millions of enrollees on a collision course with no exit ramp. Published February 4, 2015

Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell (Associated Press) ** FILE **

7.5 million have signed up on

Nearly 7.5 million Obamacare customers signed up on through Jan. 30, the administration said Wednesday in a weekly enrollment update that provided major metropolitan data for the first time. Published February 4, 2015

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. addresses the media with from left, Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., and Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn of Texas in the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, February 3, 2015.   Republicans newly in charge of Congress challenged President Barack Obama at both ends of the Capitol on Tuesday, lining up in the House to repeal the health care program he signed into law and struggling in the Senate to roll back the immigration policies he issued on his own.  (AP Photo/Molly Riley)

House votes to repeal, replace Obamacare

The House voted largely along party lines Tuesday to repeal and replace Obamacare, with Republicans vowing to satisfy midterm voters who demanded a new path forward while Democrats taunted their rivals as oblivious to the plight of the uninsured. Published February 3, 2015

Sen. John Barrasso, Wyoming Republican, and his GOP colleagues are examining replacements for Obamacare. "We want to make sure the American people know we're going to be there to help people who are being harmed by the law," Mr. Barrasso said. (Associated Press) ** FILE **

Republicans proposing vote on Obamacare alternative

Republicans have vowed to be ready with a replacement for Obamacare if the Supreme Court pokes a hole in the signature law later this summer, and will vote in the House Tuesday to both repeal the law and to give themselves a mandate to find the replacement. Published February 2, 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. Some doctors are adamant about not accepting patients who don't believe in vaccinations, with some saying they don't want to be responsible for someone's death from an illness that was preventable. (Associated Press)

CDC director: Vaccinate your kids, there's nothing to fear

The nation's top disease fighter pleaded Monday with Americans to vaccinate their children against measles for their own sake and that of others, a response to the outbreak that's been linked to the Disneyland theme park and anti-vaccine movements in some communities. Published February 2, 2015

House Speaker John A. Boehner said that after the upcoming GOP House retreat, the Republicans will have a better plan on how to cancel out President Obama's amnesty. (Associated Press)

Republicans to open February with vote to repeal Obamacare

House Republicans will kick off February with a vote to repeal Obamacare, providing new members the chance to put their opposition on the record as the party chips away at the overhaul and devises some reforms of its own. Published January 29, 2015

The website (AP Photo/Don Ryan, File)

Obamacare signups hit 9.5 million with month still left to go

About 9.5 million Americans selected Obamacare plans with a month to spare before the Feb. 15 deadline to sign up, meaning the Obama administration likely will far exceed its modest enrollment goals for the law's health exchanges in 2015. Published January 27, 2015