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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.

U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius visited a call center at United Way of Greater Austin Friday, March 28, 2014, in Austin, Texas, to highlight local efforts to enroll consumers in affordable health coverage, just three days before the March 31 enrollment deadline.   (AP Photo/Austin American-Statesman, Ralph Barrera) closes, but offers an opening for latecomers

All is not lost for procrastinators: encourages users to see if they can still get coverage in other ways, or if they qualify for a controversial extension that lets them attest they tried to sign up by Monday to finish up. Published April 1, 2014

Elizabeth Rich helps a man sign up for the Affordable Care Act at Swope Health Services, Monday, March 31, 2014, in Kansas City, Mo. Today is the deadline to sign up for an Affordable Health Care insurance plan however, people who begin the enrollment process but aren't able to complete it by 11:59 p.m. because of a system issue may qualify for a special provision that will allow them to enroll after Monday night. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Obamacare sign-ups guru puts his final estimate at 7.08 million enrollees

Charles Gaba, a Michigan web developer who burst into the spotlight this month with a website that tracks Obamacare enrollment, has updated his estimate of final enrollment to more than 7 million people — a high-profile target the administration embraced then abandoned during the law's rollout. Published April 1, 2014

**FILE** A man assists a woman sign up for health insurance at Laman Public Library in North Little Rock, Ark., Monday, March 31, 2014. Monday is the deadline to sign up for private heath insurance in the online markets created by President Obama's heath care law. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)

More gaining insurance than losing it under Obamacare: report

At least 9 million previously uninsured Americans have gained health coverage through Obamacare through a mix of private enrollment, Medicaid and a part of the law that allows young people to stay on their parents' plans, according to the Los Angeles Times. Published March 31, 2014

(Screen grab of resuscitated after shaky morning; GOP jumps on errors

Some users of the main Obamacare portal,, encountered error messages on the website Monday morning — the last day to sign up for policies before the health care law begins to penalize Americans for lacking health insurance. Published March 31, 2014

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, left, shakes hands with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov before the start of their meeting at the Russian Ambassador's Residence to discuss Ukraine, in Paris, Sunday March 30, 2014. Kerry traveled to Paris for a last minute meeting with Lavrov. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, Pool)

Lawmakers aim for diplomacy in Russian dealings

Secretary of State John Kerry met with Russian officials Sunday to discuss a diplomatic solution to tensions along Ukraine's borders, as American lawmakers expressed concerns that Vladimir Putin has designs on more territory in the region. Published March 30, 2014

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie speaks at the Republican Jewish Coalition, Saturday, March 29, 2014, in Las Vegas. Several possible GOP presidential candidates gathered in Las Vegas as Sheldon Adelson, a billionaire casino magnate, looks for a new favorite to help on the 2016 race for the White House. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

N.J. Democrat: Too early to say what Christie knew about Bridgegate

A top Democrat in New Jersey's Legislature said Sunday it is "far too early" to conclude whether Gov. Chris Christie knew about toll-lane closings that caused massive traffic problems near the George Washington Bridge and sparked a political scandal that could roil the 2016 presidential race. Published March 30, 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)

Down the stretch, Obamacare races to win numbers game

President Obama and his supporters are encouraging Americans to "get covered" in the final hours of the health care law's enrollment period, a six-month trial that courted disaster and criticism but could end with the White House claiming victory on its own terms. Published March 30, 2014

President Obama announced on Thursday that 6 million people have enrolled in health exchanges, putting the administration over its revised goal four days before the deadline. (Associated Press)

Obamacare health exchange enrollment meets goal

President Obama said Thursday that 6 million people have enrolled in health exchanges, putting the administration over its revised goal with four days to spare before the deadline. Published March 27, 2014