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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.

Pelosi raises alarm over handling of classified Obamacare documents

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi asked Speaker John A. Boehner on Wednesday to hold a classified briefing on Obamacare documents acquired by Rep. Darrell Issa — the chamber's top investigator — that Democrats say could compromise HealthCare.gov's security. Published December 18, 2013

Kurt DelBene, President of the Microsoft Office Division, talks about Microsoft Office 365 at a news conference in San Francisco, Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2010. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

GOP lawmaker: Best 'fix' for Obamacare is a mercy killing

A Louisiana Republican lawmaker is recommending that Kurt DelBene, the former Microsoft executive who will oversee the federal Obamacare website next year, should just advise President Obama to scrap his signature health care law. Published December 18, 2013

"There must be accountability for this astounding failure and waste of taxpayer money," Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus says, in calling for the firing of Kathleen Sebelius. (Associated Press)

Priebus sees conservative activist groups as GOP 'asset'

Republican National Chairman Reince Priebus said Wednesday he considers outside conservative groups to be an "asset" to the party, despite recent harsh criticism from House GOP Speaker John Boehner. Published December 18, 2013

** FILE ** Marilyn Tavenner, the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2013, before the House Ways and Means Committee hearing on the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Administration cites Obamacare boost for seniors

The Obama administration said Tuesday more than 25 million people on traditional Medicare received at least one free preventive care service during the first 11 months of this year because of the new health care law. Published December 17, 2013

President Barack Obama speaks as he stands with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and people who support the Affordable Care Act, his signature health care law, in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013. Congress plunged the nation into a partial government shutdown Tuesday as a long-running dispute over President Barack Obama's health care law forced about 800,000 federal workers off the job, suspending all but essential services. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

5 million fall into Obamacare coverage gap

The Kaiser Family Foundation said Tuesday that roughly 5 million Americans will earn too much money to qualify for a government health-insurance program and too little to qualify for subsidized coverage under Obamacare next year. Published December 17, 2013

Kurt DelBene, President of the Microsoft Office Division, talks about Microsoft Office 365 at a news conference in San Francisco, Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2010. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

Microsoft's DelBene to oversee Obamacare repairs, replacing Zients

President Obama's top health official said Tuesday she has selected a Microsoft executive Kurt DelBene to replace Jeffrey Zients to manage the troubled federal Obamacare website, acknowledging that HealthCare.gov still needs strict oversight. Published December 17, 2013

** FILE ** Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013, before the House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on the difficulties plaguing the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

Expert: Obamacare 'death spiral' fears exaggerated

A new report says is it important that younger Americans enroll in the new insurance markets tied to Obamacare, but fears of a "death spiral" for the new law if they don't may be overblown. Published December 17, 2013

President Barack Obama, accompanied by Vice President Joe Biden, gestures as she speaks to media before a meeting with newly-elected mayors from across the country, Friday, Dec. 13, 2013, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, to discuss job creation and ensuring middle class families have a pathway to opportunity. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Obama meets with tech executives from Apple and Google

President Obama's meeting Tuesday with executives from tech companies such as Apple and Google will focus in part on the flawed rollout of HealthCare.gov, the federal web portal tied to Obamacare. Published December 17, 2013

** FILE ** Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013, before the House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on the difficulties plaguing the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Administration sees Obamacare progress, but deadlines loom

One week from a key deadline, health officials said Monday the federal Obamacare website is working consistently but they are still working to smooth out bugs and make sure enrollee data are reported accurately. Published December 16, 2013

**FILE** President Obama pauses as he speaks about the new health care law during a White House Youth Summit on Dec. 4, 2013, in the South Court Auditorium in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House complex in Washington. Americans who already have health insurance are blaming President Barack Obama's health care overhaul for their rising premiums and deductibles, and overall 3 in 4 say the rollout of coverage for the uninsured has gone poorly. (Associated Press)

OBAMASCARE: Huge premium hikes rock employer-insured workers

While most of the early Obamacare rollout problems have focused on the uninsured and those who get their policies through the individual market exchanges, more than 150 million Americans who get coverage through their employers are likely to feel the fallout as well. Published December 16, 2013

White House press secretary Jay Carney gestures as he speaks during his daily news briefing at the White House in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013. Carney spoke about preexisting conditions as it pertains to the Affordable care act, unemployment benefits, and other topics. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

White House improvises again on patchy Obamacare rollout

The Obama administration changed the new health care law in midstream once again Thursday, this time by tweaking deadlines and leaning on the good graces of insurers to help people who risk losing health coverage in the new year. Published December 12, 2013

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington on Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013, at a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on the implementation failures of the Affordable Care Act. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Sebelius calls for review of Obamacare rollout woes

President Obama's top health official said Wednesday she directed her agency's inspector general to investigate the flawed rollout of the federal website tied to Obamacare, which has cost $677 million and is gaining enrollees after an extensive effort to patch up software problems and add capacity. Published December 11, 2013

** FILE ** Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius greets Mary and Willie Williams as they meet with a navigator about their health care options under the Affordable Care Act, at the North Shore Medical Center in Miami, on Tuesday, Nov 19, 2013. (Associated Press)

If you fix it, they will come: Customers trickle to revamped Obamacare sites

Nearly 365,000 people selected a private health plan on state Obamacare markets through the end of November — a sign that people are flocking to the patched-up federal website, HealthCare.gov — although the new pace falls short of long-range projections for an inaugural sign-up period that ends in March. Published December 11, 2013