Skip to content

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.

This photo of part of the website page featuring information about the SHOP Marketplace is photographed in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013 The Obama administration is delaying yet another aspect of the health care law, putting off until next November the launch of an online portal to the health insurance marketplace for small businesses. The move was needed because repairs are still under way to the troubled website, which is the primary way for individuals to apply for insurance, and that has priority, federal officials said. (AP Photo/Jon Elswick)

Federal judge set to decide Obamacare battle over subsidies

A federal judge is set to decide this month whether Obamacare insurance markets run by the federal government can dole out subsidies to help consumers pay for their coverage — a key element to making President Obama's health law work as intended. Published December 3, 2013

FILE - This Nov. 29, 2013 file photo shows part of the website, photographed in Washington. President Barack Obama's new and improved health care website will face its next big test when a year-end enrollment crunch is expected to hit in a couple of weeks. Until now the main damage from technology woes has been to Obama's poll ratings, but it will be average Americans feeling the consequences if chokes in coming weeks. (AP Photo/Jon Elswick)

Diagnosis: Health site better, but needs work

The Obama administration said a surge of users flocked to a revamped on Monday, but tech specialists worried that many are still waiting in line and said errors buried deep in the system could still sour those new customers taking a second look at the Obamacare marketplace. Published December 2, 2013

People wait to enter, outside of the U.S. Supreme Court, in Washington, on Monday March, 25, 2013, a day before the case for gay and lesbian couples rights, will be argued before the Supreme Court. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Supreme Court to decide Obamacare birth control mandate

The Supreme Court has agreed to referee another dispute over President Barack Obama's health care law, whether businesses can use religious objections to escape a requirement to cover birth control for employees. Published November 26, 2013

"The best thing we can do now is to scrap [the Affordable Care Act] and start over with a step-by-step approach that focuses on lower cost and patient-centered solutions," Rep. Michael C. Burgess, Texas Republican and a physician, said in the weekly Republican address about the continued problems with Obamacare in general and the rocky performance of the website. (Associated Press)

Tweaks to Obama care lead to GOP call to start over

Republican lawmakers, agitated by even more tweaks to Obamacare's timeline in the coming months and years, reissued their calls Sunday to replace President Obama's health care law with new reforms. Published November 24, 2013

House Speaker John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican, pauses while meeting with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington on Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013, before Congress leaves for a two-week Thanksgiving break. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

House GOP leaders greet Iran deal with skepticism

House Speaker John A. Boehner said Sunday an interim deal to curb Iran's nuclear program should be met with "healthy skepticism and hard questions," making it clear he thinks negotiations have just begun. Published November 24, 2013

** FILE ** Sen. Bob Corker, Tennessee Republican (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

Obama administration talks tough but needs to follow through on Iran: Corker

Sen. Bob Corker said Sunday the overnight deal reached in Geneva to curb Iran's nuclear program in exchange for a gradual easing of economic sanctions will be useless if Congress does not hold the Islamic Republic's "feet to the fire" to make sure its leaders do not feel as if they have scored a win. Published November 24, 2013

U.S. Secretary of State John F. Kerry gestures as he speaks to the media about the deal that six world powers and Iran have reached calling for Tehran to limit its nuclear activities in return for sanctions relief, at the International Conference Center of Geneva on Sunday, Nov. 24, 2013, in Geneva, Switzerland. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, Pool)

Iran nuclear deal faces uphill battle with Congress; Netanyahu sees a 'historic mistake'

The Obama administration put on a full-court press Sunday to defend the deal the U.S. and key allies struck to try to halt Iran's burgeoning nuclear program — but the White House faces a tough sell with members of Congress who criticized the terms and said they'll still press for even tighter sanctions on the Islamic republic. Published November 24, 2013

**FILE** House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (left), Virginia Republican (Associated Press)

Administration stretches another Obamacare deadline

The Obama administration said Friday that customers on the Obamacare health insurance exchange will have eight more days to sign up for health coverage this December and still be covered by Jan. 1. Published November 22, 2013

"It's a complete failure for me. It won't let you progress. It freezes up," Sen. Tom Coburn, Oklahoma Republican, says of his attempts to sign up for Obamacare using the website. (associated press)

Obamacare sign-up befuddles congressmen, too

For weeks, Capitol Hill lawmakers have heard stories of both frustration and success from folks back home trying to sign up for Obamacare. Now, lawmakers have their own tales to share. Published November 21, 2013