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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.

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma speaks to reporters Thursday, March 29, 2018, during a visit to the Center for Medical Interoperability in Nashville. (Associated Press) ** FILE **

Trump admin. loosens up Obamacare waiver rules

States looking to get around Obamacare's strictures will soon be able to use federal money to help people buy cheaper, skimpier plans, so long as they don't also eliminate plans that met Obamacare's earlier requirements, the Trump administration said Monday. Published October 22, 2018

Trump admin. discloses breach on Obamacare broker tool

The Trump administration said Friday it is probing a data breach in which rogue actors accessed 75,000 individuals' files with a web tool agents and brokers use to help people enroll in Obamacare. Published October 19, 2018

This 2011 file photo provided by Wilmot Chayee shows Thomas Eric Duncan at a wedding in Ghana. Thirty-eight days after Duncan was diagnosed with Ebola in a local hospital where he died Oct. 8, Dallas calmly marked the end of its Ebola crisis on Friday, Nov. 7, 2014, when the last of the 177 people who were being monitored for symptoms of the deadly virus were to be cleared at midnight. (AP Photo/Wilmot Chayee, File)

HHS IG: Hospitals better prepared for Ebola after 2014 outbreak

Far more U.S. hospitals are prepared to deal with Ebola than they were in 2014, when a raging outbreak in West Africa stress-tested the American health system and forced the federal government to rewrite its guidelines for dealing with infectious diseases, a government watchdog said Friday. Published October 19, 2018

In this July 16, 2018, file photo, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Sen. Chuck Schumer: Voters see through Trump's talk on health care

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer said Friday he's counting on voters to see through President Trump's rhetoric on protections for people with preexisting conditions, arguing Mr. Trump's policy foibles and hands-off approach to a lawsuit that threatens Obamacare belies his claims of "total support" for measures that shield the sick. Published October 19, 2018

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, right, gestures during a press conference along with Virginia Secretary of Health, Daniel Carey, in Richmond, Va., Thursday, Oct. 18, 2018. Northam announced a key approval in the medicaid expansion process that will allow Virginia to begin accepting applications for expanded health coverage. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Virginia Gov. Northam: Medicaid expansion signups to begin Nov. 1

Virginia's decision to expand Medicaid under Obamacare will make its first big splash on Nov. 1, when newly eligible people can begin enrolling in coverage that takes effect on New Year's Day, Gov. Ralph Northam said Thursday. Published October 18, 2018

Health care is top issue for midterm voters: Poll

Midterm voters are mostly likely to cite health care as a leading issue, according to a Thursday poll that bolsters Democrats' decision to focus on coverage and care but says immigration and polarizing views of President Trump are crowding the message out. Published October 18, 2018

In this Sunday, Sept 9, 2018, photo, a health worker sprays disinfectant on his colleague after working at an Ebola treatment centre in Beni, Eastern Congo. The World Health Organization is announcing on Wednesday, Oct. 17 whether Congo's latest outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus should be declared a global health emergency. (AP Photo/Al-hadji Kudra Maliro) **FILE**

Ebola in DRC not yet a global emergency: WHO

The World Health Organization on Wednesday said it is "deeply concerned" about the unfolding Ebola outbreak in a war-torn part of the Democratic Republic of Congo but it is not ready to declare it a global emergency. Published October 17, 2018

In this March 21, 2006, photo, pills move through a precision weighing machine at a pharmaceutical manufacturers trade show in New York. (Associated Press) **FILE**

Big pharma says it will disclose more about drug costs

The Trump administration said Monday it will force drug makers to disclose the list price of medicines in their television ads, setting up a clash with the pharmaceutical industry, which is resisting such open disclosures. Published October 15, 2018

No new polling has emerged since the Kavanaugh confirmation vote, but experts said Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a five-term senator, has not been pushed off her path to re-election. She is being challenged by state Sen. Kevin de Leon. (Associated Press)

Feinstein on track to win re-election bid in California

Republicans accused her of dirty tricks while the far left said she'd gone soft, but campaign watchers say Sen. Dianne Feinstein emerged mostly unscathed from the Supreme Court fight and is still on track to win re-election. Published October 14, 2018

Seema Verma, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, speaks during a news conference in Newark, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) ** FILE **

Key Obamacare rates to drop slightly in 2019

Premiums for key health plans will drop by an average of 1.5 percent on the federal marketplace in 2019, the Trump administration said Thursday, heralding an "especially gratifying" end to years of eye-popping hikes on HealthCare.gov. Published October 11, 2018

In an op-ed for USA Today, President Trump blasted the Democrats on health care. "The truth is that the centrist Democratic Party is dead," he wrote. (Associated Press)

Democrats' bid to scuttle Obamacare change defeated

President Trump blasted Democrats on Wednesday for trying to overturn his administration's push to give consumers an off-ramp from Obamacare, warning that their defense of the 2010 law is a path to government-run socialized medicine. Published October 10, 2018

President Donald Trump pauses during his meeting to discuss potential damage from Hurricane Michael, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Trump signs bipartisan bills to boost drug-pricing transparency

President Trump signed a bill Wednesday forbidding "gag clauses" that prevent pharmacists from telling customers they can save money in some cases by paying cash for their prescriptions, instead of relying on their insurance and making the co-payment. Published October 10, 2018

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., speaks during an interview at The Associated Press in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

GOP defeats bid to cancel expansion of Obamacare-evading plans

Senate Republicans turned back a Democratic bid Wednesday to kill President Trump's plan to expand the sale of health plans that fall short of Obamacare's rules, saying Americans who buy insurance on their own need more options, not fewer. Published October 10, 2018

House Speaker Paul Ryan, Wisconsin Republican, attends a news conference in Washington on Sept. 13, 2018. (Associated Press) **FILE**

Speaker Ryan: GOP has kept promises, deserves 2019 majority

Take-home pay is rising while unemployment falls, the military is getting stronger and help is on the way for Americans ensnared by addiction to opioids, House Speaker Paul D. Ryan said Monday, making the case for Republicans to retain control of Congress as he heads for the exits. Published October 8, 2018