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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.

** FILE ** Marilyn Tavenner, the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2013, before the House Ways and Means Committee hearing on the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Administration cites Obamacare boost for seniors

The Obama administration said Tuesday more than 25 million people on traditional Medicare received at least one free preventive care service during the first 11 months of this year because of the new health care law. Published December 17, 2013

President Barack Obama, accompanied by Vice President Joe Biden, gestures as she speaks to media before a meeting with newly-elected mayors from across the country, Friday, Dec. 13, 2013, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, to discuss job creation and ensuring middle class families have a pathway to opportunity. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Obama meets with tech executives from Apple and Google

President Obama's meeting Tuesday with executives from tech companies such as Apple and Google will focus in part on the flawed rollout of, the federal web portal tied to Obamacare. Published December 17, 2013

** FILE ** Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013, before the House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on the difficulties plaguing the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Administration sees Obamacare progress, but deadlines loom

One week from a key deadline, health officials said Monday the federal Obamacare website is working consistently but they are still working to smooth out bugs and make sure enrollee data are reported accurately. Published December 16, 2013

**FILE** President Obama pauses as he speaks about the new health care law during a White House Youth Summit on Dec. 4, 2013, in the South Court Auditorium in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House complex in Washington. Americans who already have health insurance are blaming President Barack Obama's health care overhaul for their rising premiums and deductibles, and overall 3 in 4 say the rollout of coverage for the uninsured has gone poorly. (Associated Press)

OBAMASCARE: Huge premium hikes rock employer-insured workers

While most of the early Obamacare rollout problems have focused on the uninsured and those who get their policies through the individual market exchanges, more than 150 million Americans who get coverage through their employers are likely to feel the fallout as well. Published December 16, 2013

White House press secretary Jay Carney gestures as he speaks during his daily news briefing at the White House in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013. Carney spoke about preexisting conditions as it pertains to the Affordable care act, unemployment benefits, and other topics. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

White House improvises again on patchy Obamacare rollout

The Obama administration changed the new health care law in midstream once again Thursday, this time by tweaking deadlines and leaning on the good graces of insurers to help people who risk losing health coverage in the new year. Published December 12, 2013

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington on Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013, at a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on the implementation failures of the Affordable Care Act. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Sebelius calls for review of Obamacare rollout woes

President Obama's top health official said Wednesday she directed her agency's inspector general to investigate the flawed rollout of the federal website tied to Obamacare, which has cost $677 million and is gaining enrollees after an extensive effort to patch up software problems and add capacity. Published December 11, 2013

** FILE ** Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius greets Mary and Willie Williams as they meet with a navigator about their health care options under the Affordable Care Act, at the North Shore Medical Center in Miami, on Tuesday, Nov 19, 2013. (Associated Press)

If you fix it, they will come: Customers trickle to revamped Obamacare sites

Nearly 365,000 people selected a private health plan on state Obamacare markets through the end of November — a sign that people are flocking to the patched-up federal website, — although the new pace falls short of long-range projections for an inaugural sign-up period that ends in March. Published December 11, 2013

Sen. David Vitter

Harry Reid, David Vitter spar over Obamacare 'exemptions'

Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana took the Senate's top Democrat to task on Tuesday, saying Majority Leader Harry Reid should disclose how he decided which of his staff should get their health insurance from the Obamacare exchanges. Published December 10, 2013

A page on the website is pictured on Friday, Nov. 29, 2013. (AP Photo/Jon Elswick)

Oregonians likely to rely on paper Obamacare enrollment into January

The chief of Oregon's health exchange apologized Tuesday for its lackluster performance under Obamacare and said it will not have a high-functioning website until weeks into the new year, as officials plow through thousands of paper applications to get residents covered in time for Jan. 1. Published December 10, 2013

** FILE ** Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas Republican. (Associated Press)

Ted Cruz sees legal landmines ahead for Obamacare

One of Congress' staunchest critics of Obamacare released a report Monday that cheers on legal challenges to the overhaul and says the White House overstepped its authority by delaying aspects of the law. Published December 9, 2013

FILE - This Nov. 29, 2013 file photo shows part of the website, photographed in Washington. President Barack Obama’s fickle health insurance website is finally starting to put up some respectable signup numbers, but its job only seems to have gotten harder. Two months in and out of the repair shop have left significantly less time to fulfill the White House goal of enrolling 7 million people for 2014 by the end of open enrollment March 31. (AP Photo/Jon Elswick)

Obama admin.: One in 10 Obamacare forms might have errors

The Obama administration said up to one in four of the forms that transmitted enrollment data from the federal Obamacare exchange to insurers may have contained errors in October and November, according to a preliminary review. Published December 6, 2013

The White House Youth Summit is scheduled for Wednesday, maybe just in time. A new Gallup poll reveals that Americans who have not yet turned 30 know the least about Obamacare. (THE WHITE HOUSE)

Young millennials shun Obamacare, creating risky imbalance

Less than one-third of uninsured young Americans say they are likely to sign up for health insurance in the Obamacare exchanges, according to a Harvard University Institute of Polling survey Wednesday that signals President Obama's sales pitch to a key group of his supporters is falling short. Published December 4, 2013

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