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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.

This photo taken Nov. 27, 2013, in Washington shows part of the website page featuring information about the SHOP Marketplace. (Associated Press) **FILE**

HHS releases new Obamacare figures, but can't say how many paid

The Obama administration released a fresh round of Obamacare data for all 50 states Thursday, yet offered no payment data to combat Republican claims that only two-thirds of customers in the federal marketplace have paid their first premium. Published May 1, 2014

From left, Cheryl Campbell, senior vice president of CGI Federal; Andrew Slavitt, group executive vice president for Optum/QSSI; Lynn Spellecy, corporate counsel for Equifax Workforce Solutions; and John Lau, program director for Serco, listen to questioning on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 24, 2013, during a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing with contractors that built the federal government's health care websites. The contractors responsible for building the troubled website say it was the government's responsibility _ not theirs _ to test it and make sure it worked. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

CEO of Obamacare website firm: We were 'never fired'

The chief of CGI Group, the Canadian contractor most closely linked to the flawed rollout of Obamacare last fall, told investment analysts Wednesday the company was not "fired" by anyone in the U.S. and that fallout from the web glitches was overblown in the press. Published April 30, 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 **

Price of fixing, upgrading Obamacare website rises to $121 million

Fixing the Obamacare website to get it ready to handle a second round of enrollments will cost the federal government $121 million, according to Accenture, the contractor hired to repair the glitchy website after the original contractor, CGI Federal, was fired in January. Published April 29, 2014

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes-Norton says she is calling upon to president to require that the D.C. flag be flown at military functions where the flags of all 50 states are flown. She made this declaration at the D.C. World War I memorial on Monday, Nov. 12, 2012, where she met with a a Washington, D.C. mom whose son is now serving in the U.S. Navy and said that she was "saddened" by the fact that every other state had a flag present as part of the boot camp graduation, but there was none to recognize her son. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)

Plan would dedicate federal park in D.C. as WWI Memorial

Members of Congress said Tuesday they want to rededicate a federal park near the White House as a national World War I memorial, an attempt to quiet complaints that veterans of all the 20th century's major conflicts have been suitably honored in the nation's capital except for those who fought in "the Great War." Published April 29, 2014

Rep. Tom Cotton, Arkansas Republican is running for the U.S. Senate seat now held by U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor, a Democrat. (Associated Press)

Democrats, Republicans use Medicaid law as a campaign weapon

The attack line from Arkansas Democrats is simple: If Rep. Tom Cotton had his way, at least 155,000 of the state's poorest residents would lose the health care coverage they just received under a bipartisan plan that other states have imitated. Published April 28, 2014

Cover Oregon interim chief information officer Alex Pettit speaks during an advisory committee meeting in Portland, Ore., Thursday, April 24, 2014.  After months of deliberation over what to do with Oregon's botched online health exchange, the advisory panel recommended that the state drop its trouble-plagued online health exchange for private policies and have Oregonians instead shop for them on the federal online marketplace. (AP Photo/Don Ryan)

Oregon abandons state Obamacare exchange; first to do so

Oregon has become the first state to ditch its Obamacare exchange, opting Friday to abandon the $245 million state-run portal and rely on the federal site for private health policies when enrollment starts again in November. Published April 25, 2014

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus wasted no time in bidding Oregon's failed health care portal, Cover Oregon, goodbye and assigning blame for glitch-laden site to Democratic Gov. John Kitzhaber and Sen. Jeff Merkley, also a Democrat. (Associated Press)

Oregon may ditch Obamacare portal

Oregon may drop its glitch-laden Obamacare portal and rely on the federally run website instead, a stark turnaround for a state that embraced the health care law but failed to deliver a fully functioning exchange. Published April 24, 2014

FILE - In this Jan. 17, 2014 file photo, a smoker demonstrates an e-cigarette in Wichita Falls, Texas. Soon, the Food and Drug Administration will propose rules for e-cigarettes. The rules will have big implications for a fast-growing industry and its legions of customers. (AP Photo/Wichita Falls Times Record News, Torin Halsey, File)

FDA extends its reach to e-cigarettes in proposal

Five years in the making, the Obama administration’s move Thursday to regulate electronic cigarettes and other tobacco products left many anti-smoking advocates waiting to exhale. Published April 24, 2014

The website is shown on a laptop in Washington, Monday, March 31, 2014. Today is the deadline to sign up for private heath insurance in the online markets created by President Obama's heath care law or face a federal fines. (AP Photo/J. David Ake)

Obamacare class-action suit opens a new legal front

Lawrence Basich is on the hook for $400,000 in medical bills that would have been paid by his insurer had his application been processed correctly by Nevada's Obamacare exchange. Published April 23, 2014

University of Michigan student Ebrie Benton, left, demonstrates outside the Federal courthouse, Wednesday, March 7, 2012, in Cincinnati, where the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals was hearing oral arguments in their review of their ruling last summer that Proposal 2, the ban on affirmative action in Michigan, is unconstitutional. (AP Photo/Al Behrman)

Supreme Court upholds Michigan affirmative action ban

The Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld a state electorate's right to ban the use of race in public university admissions, a decision that rekindles the debate over affirmative action in an election year and could clear the way for ballot initiatives across America. Published April 22, 2014

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius listens as she testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, April 10, 2014, before the Senate Finance Committee hearing on the HHS Department's fiscal Year 2015 budget. A White House official says Sebelius is resigning from the Obama administration. The move comes just a week after the close of the rocky enrollment period for President Barack Obama's health care law. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Sebelius not running for Senate, HHS confirms: Report

Despite rumors in Democratic circles, departing Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is not considering a Senate run out of Kansas, an agency spokesman told the Associated Press. Published April 18, 2014