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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.

A Protect Environmental worker wears a hazard suite in a staging area at a healthcare workers apartment, who tested positive for Ebola, Oct. 13, 2014, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade)

Congress calls U.S. officials to Washington for Ebola update

House lawmakers have asked U.S. officials on the front lines of the battle against Ebola to testify before Congress Thursday, as a second diagnosis in Dallas rattles health care workers and the American public. Published October 14, 2014

This 2010 photo provided by, the yearbook of Texas Christian University, shows Nina Pham, 26, who became the first person to contract the disease within the United States. Records show that Pham and other health care workers wore protective gear, including gowns, gloves, masks and face shields and sometimes full-body suits when caring for Thomas Eric Duncan. (AP Photo/Courtesy of

Dallas nurse with Ebola says she's 'doing well'

The 26-year-old nurse who contracted Ebola while taking care of an infected patient in Dallas is "doing well" and has received a blood transfusion from American doctor Kent Brantly, who overcame the virus after he was flown home from West Africa. Published October 14, 2014

FILE - In this Nov. 13, 2013 file photo, Peter Lee, executive director of Covered California, the state's health insurance exchange, talks at a news conference in Sacramento, Calif. Long before it opened its doors to the public last fall, California's health insurance exchange awarded a small contract to a business consultant, Leesa Tori, for her advice on designing a program to sell insurance to small companies The industry veteran was a friend and former co-worker of Peter Lee, the exchange's top executive. The seemingly minor deal would mark the beginning of a lucrative and far-reaching partnership between the new state agency and the boutique consulting company Tori formed last year, just as national health care reform took root across the U.S.  (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)

If Californians like their Obamacare, most can keep their Obamacare

California officials boasted Monday that they will have to kick off fewer than 11,000 people from Obamacare because the state-run health care exchange was able to verify lawful immigration or citizenship status for the vast majority of the nearly 150,000 people at risk of losing coverage. Published October 13, 2014

U.S. Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska. (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer, File)

Labor union set to give Sen. Mark Begich a helping hand

Democratic Sen. Mark Begich will get a helping hand from teachers' union leader Randi Weingarten on Saturday, a few days after a poll put the senator 6 points behind Republican challenger Dan Sullivan in Alaska's Senate race. Published October 10, 2014

This image shows the updated website for, a federal government website managed by the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Service. The Obama administration has unveiled an updated version of It's got some improvements and some challenges. There's also at least one early mistake. (Associated Press)

HHS Secretary Burwell: will be more reliable this year

As Obamacare enters its second act, the Obama administration's top health official said the federal website will work much better than last year and that her team is doing "everything we can" to stabilize state-run health exchanges where qualified Americans can shop for plans. Published October 9, 2014

Two days after a man in Texas was diagnosed with Ebola, Dr. Gil Mobley, a Missouri doctor, checks in to board a plane dressed in full protection gear Thursday morning, Oct. 2, 2014, at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. He was protesting what he called mismanagement of the crisis by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (AP Photo/Atlanta Journal-Constitution, John Spink)

Ebola screening abroad paramount: HHS secretary Burwell

Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell said Thursday she is deeply involved — even if it's not always on camera — in the nation's response to the Ebola virus, exuding confidence that American know-how, travel screening and improvements in West Africa will beat back the deadly outbreak even if it gets worse before it gets better. Published October 9, 2014

Despite boon to the uninsured, Obamacare still decried

Americans are more likely to say Obamacare is hurting them than helping them, even as the law appears to have cut the uninsured rate by nearly 4 percentage points, according to Gallup data released Wednesday. Published October 8, 2014

A man pushes a shopping cart outside of a Walmart store that boarded its entrance and closed early in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014, as the area prepares for Hurricane Iselle. Hurricane Iselle is expected to arrive on the Big Island on Thursday evening, bringing heavy rains, winds gusting up to 85 mph and flooding in some areas. Weather officials changed their outlook on the system Wednesday after seeing it get a little stronger, giving it enough oomph to stay a hurricane as it reaches landfall. (AP Photo/Chris Stewart)

Wal-Mart will drop health coverage for some part-timers as of Jan. 1

Wal-Mart announced Tuesday it will no longer provide health insurance to some of its part-time workers as of Jan. 1, following in the footsteps of other big retailers who dropped coverage, citing rising costs and new options outside of the workplace. Published October 7, 2014