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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** President Barack Obama with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius (Associated Press)

HHS: We need $1.8B to run Obamacare portal

President Obama's top health officials said Tuesday they expect Congress to front the money needed to fund Obamacare's federal marketplace in fiscal 2015 as they work to make operate better this fall. Published March 4, 2014

** FILE ** Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, pauses during an interview with The Associated Press, Friday, May 3, 2013, in Portland, Maine. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

Senate Dems accuse GOP of cherry-picking health reforms

Sen. Chuck Schumer, New York Democrat, wasn't shy about calling out Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas Republican, who recently told a tea party crowd he would "repeal every single word of Obamacare." Published March 4, 2014

FILE - This Nov. 29, 2013 file photo shows part of the website in Washington, on Nov. 29, 2013. The new year brings the big test of President Barack Obama’s beleaguered health care law: Does it work? The heart of the law springs to life Jan. 1, 2014, after nearly four years of political turmoil and three months of enrollment chaos. Patients will begin showing up at hospitals and pharmacies with insurance coverage bought through the nation’s new health care marketplaces.(AP Photo/Jon Elswick, File)

Insurance brokers see big problems in Obamacare rollouts

A key part of online strategy for President Obama's health care law is faltering as insurance brokers who were supposed to act as middlemen in signing Americans up for policies — particularly the young, healthy enrollees key to the law's success — say they are being thwarted by the clunky system. Published March 3, 2014

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe questions Education Secretary Arne Duncan during the Education and Workforce Committee session at the National Governor's Association Winter Meeting in Washington, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2014. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

Group airs ads against Va. Medicaid expansion

Americans for Prosperity, a conservative political action group, has launched a new radio ad in Virginia that urges state lawmakers to fight Gov. Terry McAuliffe's plan to expand Medicaid under Obamacare — a high-stakes issue that's been tied to the budget and raises the specter of a government shutdown in Richmond by mid-year. Published February 27, 2014

In this May 28, 2010 photo Clay Aiken is seen during an interview in Raleigh, N.C. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

Clay Aiken thinks Obamacare could be better

The former "American Idol" runner-up who's gunning for a congressional seat in North Carolina, says the new health care law is rocky in places and should have done more to address health care costs. Published February 27, 2014

** FILE ** Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Reid backs off on Obamacare horror stories claim

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid late Wednesday dialed back his claim that Obamacare horror stories aired by conservative donors like the Koch brothers are "all untrue," but he still thinks most of the negative accounts are false. Published February 26, 2014

"Do what a handful of states have done and have a primary where all voters, members of every party, can vote and the top two vote-getters, regardless of party, then enter a runoff," Sen. Charles E. Schumer suggests in his scheme to weaken the tea party. (Associated Press)

Democrats double down on Obamacare

Striking a defiant posture, a group of Senate Democrats on Wednesday pushed back at Republican "haters" of Obamacare and said they will redouble their efforts to highlight people who are gaining health coverage and saving money because of the reforms. Published February 26, 2014

** FILE ** In this March 23, 2010, file photo, President Barack Obama reaches for a pen to sign the health care bill in the East Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

New service launched to track Obamacare subsidies

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Consumer Reports said Monday they've teamed up to create a website that helps people find out if they qualify for financial assistance when they choose a health plan on one of Obamacare's web-based markets. Published February 24, 2014

Obamacare medical device tax led to loss of 33,000 jobs, report says

A new survey says Obamacare's tax on medical device manufacturers forced companies to lay off or avoid hiring 33,000 workers last year — adding another arrow to the GOP's quiver as Republicans aim to portray the health care law as a job-killing program. Published February 23, 2014