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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 talks to the crowd at Central Connecticut State University during a speech Wednesday, March 5, 2014,  about raising the minimum wage. (AP Photo/The Hour, Alex von Kleydorff)

Obama tries to reassure Hispanics on Obamacare

President Obama assured the Hispanic community on Thursday that personal information entered into Obamacare's web system will not be used to root out illegal immigrants for deportation. Published March 6, 2014

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius speaks about educating people on signing up for the new national healthcare coverage plan during a news conference, on Wednesday, March 5, 2014, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Half of uninsured look to Obamacare exchanges for coverage

Roughly half of uninsured adults and almost half of people without employer-based insurance had looked at or planned to check out the Obamacare marketplace to see what it offered, according to a new brief from the Urban Institute. Published March 6, 2014

**FILE** President Barack Obama speaks about Ukraine in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in Washington, Friday, Feb. 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Deja vu: Another delay for Obamacare

Announcing another change to the president's signature law, the Obama administration said Wednesday that it will let people keep subpar insurance plans through 2016, carving out another exception to Obamacare in a move Republicans said offers further proof that the law is hurting Americans' health and Democrats' election chances this fall. Published March 5, 2014

The rocky launch of online insurance markets tied to Obamacare has disappointed even the law's most ardent supporters. Congressional Republicans have called for the resignation of Secretary of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. (Associated Press)

House votes to delay Obamacare individual mandate

Nearly 30 House Democrats ignored a veto threat by President Obama's and helped the GOP majority pass a bill Wednesday that would let people ignore this year's Obamacare penalty for not having health insurance. Published March 5, 2014

**FILE** House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Rep. Dave Camp, Michigan Republican, speaks with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington on Feb. 26, 2014. (Associated Press)

Rep. Dave Camp insists tax reform is possible

Rep. Dave Camp insisted Wednesday his plan to overhaul America's tax code can gain traction and pass this Congress, despite little appetite by key players to take it on in an election year and term limits that will edge him out as chairman of the House's tax committee in 2015. Published March 5, 2014

**FILE** President Barack Obama speaks about Ukraine in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in Washington, Friday, Feb. 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Obama would veto GOP effort to delay individual mandate

The House is set to vote this week on the Simple Fairness Act, which let Americans go without health insurance in 2014 without facing the tax penalty prescribed by the Affordable Care Act. Published March 4, 2014

**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