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Tom Howell Jr.

Tom Howell Jr.

Tom Howell Jr. covers politics for The Washington Times. He can be reached at [email protected].

Articles by Tom Howell Jr.

A photo of his children hangs on the wall in the home of Kyle Graves, in Franklin, Tenn., Tuesday, June 6, 2017. He knows his kids won't come around if he falls back into addiction. His hopes of rebuilding a life with those five kids, now grown, help keep him clean. "I'd like to have a house, a place they can come over and have a cookout on the weekend," he said. "They know I love 'em with all my heart," he said. "They still have issues. I've offered to get them together and talk to them. I guess they're not ready yet." (AP Photo/David Goldman)

White House says opioid epidemic even worse than thought

The opioid crisis is killing thousands more Americans than previously thought and its economic toll reached half a trillion dollars in 2015, the White House said Monday in a report that reexamines the reach of the prescription drug and heroin epidemic. Published November 20, 2017

Americans will hold Republicans responsible for Obamacare dip: Poll

Half the public will blame President Trump and Republicans if Obamacare enrollment dips this year, according to a nonpartisan poll that says more Americans are holding the GOP responsible for the law's fate than Democrats who crafted and passed the stumbling program. Published November 17, 2017

This July 19, 2001, file photo shows OxyContin tablets at a pharmacy in Montpelier, Vt. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot) ** FILE **

State AGs ask Congress to repeal law that 'hamstrung' DEA's opioids fight

Nearly every state attorney general in the country wants Congress to repeal a 2016 law that reportedly made it "virtually impossible" for the Drug Enforcement Administration to suspend orders of narcotics that could fall into the hands of corrupt doctors or illicit pharmacies. Published November 14, 2017

Voters in Maine cheered last week after opting to join 31 other states and expand Medicaid under President Obama's Affordable Care Act. (Associated Press/File)

Health care voters turn Republican election strength into liability

Seven years after Obamacare crushed Democrats at the ballot box, the party is using health care to launch a revival, saying President Trump and congressional Republicans are paying a price for their fumbled repeal effort and will sink further next year. Published November 12, 2017

A White House cabal called the "Tax Team" has kept pressure on House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (left) to stay in sync with President Trump's priorities. (Associated Press)

Top House tax-writer won't accept plank of Senate tax-cut plan

The House's main tax-writer said his chamber won't accept a Senate plan to eliminate a property tax deduction that's critical for states like New York and California, underscoring the thorny path Republicans face in settling on a final product by Christmas. Published November 12, 2017

In this Aug. 31, 2017, file photo, Sen. Pat Toomey holds a town-hall meeting at the WLVT/PBS 39-TV studios in Bethlehem, Pa. (Tom Gralish/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP, File)

Sen. Pat Toomey says Roy Moore should drop out of Senate race in Alabama

A tide of Republicans are distancing themselves from Roy Moore, the GOP nominee for the Senate in Alabama, or urging him to drop out of the race without delay, saying they're unswayed by his rebuttal to claims that he pursued relationships with teen girls during his 30s. Published November 12, 2017

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, right, and CIA Director John Brennan, left, sit in the front row before President Barack Obama spoke about National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance, Friday, Jan. 17, 2014, at the Justice Department in Washington. The president called for ending the government's control of phone data from millions of Americans. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Former intel chiefs Brennan, Clapper unload on Trump

Former intelligence chiefs said Sunday it is "astounding" that President Trump refuses to forcefully condemn Russian President Vladimir Putin over findings that Moscow interfered in last year's election. Published November 12, 2017

Florida Blue agent Ismaris Crespo, right, explains the different Affordable Care Act enrollment options to Catherine Reviati, left, Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017, in Hialeah, Fla. Health care advocacy groups are making an against-all-odds effort to sign people up despite confusion and hostility fostered by Republicans opposed to former President Barack Obama's signature domestic policy achievement. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

Trump admin. reports 600K Obamacare signups in first four days

More than 600,000 people selected an Obamacare plan during the first four days of enrollment, the Trump administration said Thursday in a report indicating the law is holding its own even as the White House plots its demise. Published November 9, 2017

Obamacare plan better deal than mandate tax for many uninsured: Study

More than half of the 10.7 million Americans who are uninsured and eligible for an Obamacare plan could pay less in premiums than what they would owe under the "individual mandate" tax for shirking coverage, nonpartisan policy analysts said Thursday. Published November 9, 2017

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe is interviewed by a reporter at the Northam For Governor election night party at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

Gov. Terry McAuliffe: Virginia will be next state to expand Medicaid

Virginia will be the next state to expand Medicaid under Obamacare, Gov. Terry McAuliffe predicted this week, saying the massive wins by Democrats in the commonwealth on Tuesday make it all but certain the GOP will have to cave on its long-standing opposition. Published November 8, 2017

In this May 18, 2017, file photo, the Healthcare.gov website is seen on a laptop computer in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

CBO: Repealing Obamacare mandate saves $338B

Repealing Obamacare's mandate requiring Americans to buy health insurance would save the federal government $338 billion over the next decade as 13 million people would forgo coverage, freeing the government from having to subsidize them, scorekeepers said Wednesday in an analysis could reshape the Republican push to overhaul the tax code. Published November 8, 2017

In this March 8, 2017 file photo, Maine Gov. Paul LePage speaks at a town hall meeting in Yarmouth, Maine. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File)

Maine voters opt to expand access to Medicaid

Voters in Maine opted Tuesday to join dozens of states that have expanded Medicaid coverage under Obamacare, delivering a high-profile endorsement of taxpayer-funded coverage even as President Trump tries to dismantle the 2010 health care law. Published November 7, 2017

Seema Verma, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, walks to speak with reporters outside the White House in Washington, Thursday, April 13, 2017, after President Donald Trump signed H.J. Res. 43, which allows states to withhold federal funds from facilities that provide abortion services. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) ** FILE **

Trump admin. signals states can tie Medicaid to work

The Trump administration encouraged states Tuesday to get Medicaid recipients into the workforce, saying President Obama's refusal to set tougher conditions on able-bodied enrollees strained state budgets and failed to prioritize the truly needy. Published November 7, 2017

Catherine Reviati reviews Affordable Care Act enrollment options in Florida. States that run their own Obamacare markets say they are seeing a surge of interest this year. (Associated Press/File)

Obamacare enrollment 'alive and kicking' after death knell from Trump

States that run their own Obamacare markets say they are seeing a surge of interest by Americans checking plans, asking questions and signing up for coverage since the 2018 enrollment period opened last week, suggesting fears of a collapse as a result of Trump administration indifference may have been premature. Published November 6, 2017

Obamacare repeal push by Republicans bogs down tax plan hopes

Republicans won't get another crack at repealing Obamacare until next year, but fights over tweaking the law could drag down other parts of the GOP's agenda on Capitol Hill, including renewing funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and throwing a curve in the GOP's tax overhaul. Published November 5, 2017