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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.

President Barack Obama and his nominee to become Health and Human Services secretary, Budget Director Sylvia Mathews Burwell, right, listen as outgoing HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Friday, April 11, 2014, where the president made the announcment. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Sebelius: I made it clear to Obama that I was leaving

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who led the rocky rollout of Obamacare and surprised D.C. observers by stepping down this week, said that if President Obama wanted to talk her out of leaving, he didn't even get the chance. Published April 13, 2014

President Barack Obama hugs outgoing Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius as he stands with Vice President Joe Biden and his nominee to be her replacement, Budget Director Sylvia Mathews Burwell, Friday, April 11, 2014, in the Rose Garden f the White House in Washington. The moves come just over a week after sign-ups closed for the first year of insurance coverage under the so-called Obamacare law.(AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

HHS nominee Burwell faces tight scrutiny

Lawmakers dug in Sunday for a proxy war over the new health care law, now that President Obama has selected a well-known manager to replace Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and lead his signature program into a new era. Published April 13, 2014

Obama hails Sebelius, pivots to Sylvia Mathews Burwell to clean up troubled Obamacare

President Obama hailed departing Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius as a tireless leader who turned around the troubled rollout of his health care law — one week after he failed to mention her in cheering the millions of enrollees his sweeping overhaul brought in from October to March. Published April 11, 2014

Medicare chief Marilyn Tavenner pauses while testifying on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013, before the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing as the panel seeks reassurances about problems with the debut of the Affordable Care Act. Republicans on the committee emphasized their longstanding criticism of the law, citing examples of cancellations and increased costs while raising questions about cyber-security for (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Government paid out billions in suspect Medicare claims — report

Medicare paid out $2 billion in error because nearly a third of the claims it reviewed did not adequately document face-to-face encounters with beneficiaries who seek home health services such as nursing care or physical therapy, a federal inspector general has found. Published April 10, 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)

Deadline extension boosts Obamacare sign-ups

States running their own health care exchanges say tens of thousands of enrollees are taking advantage of deadline grace periods to sign up for health plans — boosting the White House's enrollment tally while underscoring the glitches that made the extensions necessary. Published April 8, 2014

**FILE** Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, center, flanked by Rep. Joe Pitts, R-Pa., left, and Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Lauren Victoria Burke)

Brady accuses Obama administration of selective law

Rep. Kevin Brady says the Obama administration is picking and choosing when it has the authority to tweak the health care law and when it does not, ultimately bending the situation to its own needs. Published April 8, 2014

Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, Arizona Democrat, applauded Congress' bipartisan effort to reverse the planned cuts to Medicare Advantage payments. (Associated Press)

Medicare will see boost, not cuts, in 2014

Bowing to intense election-year pressure from both Democrats and Republicans, the Obama administration reversed course Monday and said that rather than cutting Medicare Advantage payments, it will actually boost them next year. Published April 7, 2014

Portraits of former Presidents Goerge W. Bush, left, and his father George H.W. Bush which are part of the exhibit "The Art of Leadership: A President's  Diplomacy," are on display at the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in Dallas, Friday, April 4, 2014. The exhibit of world leader portraits painted by George W. Bush opens Saturday and runs through June 3.  (AP Photo/Benny Snyder)

Bush: Art is for library, not for ego

Former President George W. Bush said he decided to exhibit his portraits of world leaders to spruce up his presidential library — not to show off, he said Friday. Published April 4, 2014

Courtesy of James Pearson's Twitter account

Report: Did North Korea rip off NASA's logo?

North Korea may view the United States as the great imperial enemy, but that didn't keep it from cribbing off NASA's logo in designing its own space agency's graphics, the Guardian reports. Published April 4, 2014