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Tom Howell Jr.

Tom Howell Jr.

Tom Howell Jr. covers politics for The Washington Times. He can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

Articles by Tom Howell Jr.

** FILE ** Gov. Jay Nixon speaks during a news conference held at the Capitol on Tuesday, June 24, 2014, in Jefferson City, Mo. (AP Photo/The Jefferson City News-Tribune, Julie Smith)

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon vetoes abortion waiting-period bill

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed a bill Wednesday that would have tripled the waiting period for women who sought an abortion, saying it would lengthen the suffering of rape or invent victims and put women's health at risk, according to news reports. Published July 2, 2014

**FILE** A handful of 80-milligram Oxycontin pills and two syringes are seen here on a table in Fairfax, Va., on Aug. 15, 2003. (Rod A. Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)

CDC: Painkiller abuse varies widely around U.S. for no reason

The frequency of opioid painkiller prescriptions varies from region to region around the U.S., a puzzling pattern that could be contributing to more overdose deaths in areas with an unusually high rate of scripts, according to government researchers. Published July 2, 2014

Customers walk to a Hobby Lobby store in Oklahoma City, Monday, June 30, 2014. The Supreme Court ruled Monday that employers can hold  religious objections that allow them to opt out of the new health law requirement that they cover contraceptives for women. The Hobby Lobby chain of arts-and-crafts stores is by far the largest employer of any company that has gone to court to fight the birth control provision. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

Democrats eye Hobby Lobby defeat as a weapon on the campaign trail

Democrats are hoping to turn a high-profile Obamacare loss before the Supreme Court into a political win ahead of November midterms, urging donors and women voters to help them reverse the decision to let closely held corporations duck a White House mandate to cover birth control as part of company health plans. Published July 1, 2014

Keith Saunders, left, a certified Cover California insurance agent, explains a health insurance plan to Mark Tammes at a registration site hosted by Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers, Monday, March 31, 2014, in Sacramento, Calif. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli) ** FILE **

IG: Obamacare markets foul up eligibility and verification parts of applications

Republican lawmakers on Tuesday seized on audits that suggest Obamacare's new health exchanges are ill-equipped to verify applicants' identities and eligibility for government subsidies — findings that breathe new life into fears the Web-based program is not secure and cannot function properly. Published July 1, 2014

**FILE** A container for birth-control pills designed to look like a woman's compact is displayed. (Associated Press)

Conservatives to Obama White House: Pay for contraceptives yourself

Conservatives took a victory lap Tuesday, celebrating a Supreme Court decision one day prior that called on the Obama administration to find ways to insure birth control without forcing closely held corporations to do it in their health plans. Published July 1, 2014