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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.

Protesters participate in a demonstration in front of the Supreme Court in Washington on March 25, 2015, as the court heard oral arguments in the challenges of President Barack Obama's health care law requirement that businesses provide their female employees with health insurance that includes access to contraceptives. (Associated Press) **FILE**

Trump rolls back Obama-era contraception mandate

The Trump administration said Friday it will let a vast universe of employers duck Obamacare's contraceptive mandate by claiming a religious or moral objection -- a long-awaited move that thrilled pro-life conservatives and appalled Democrats and civil liberties groups, who said they will sue. Published October 6, 2017

This Feb. 19, 2013, file photo shows OxyContin pills arranged for a photo at a pharmacy in Montpelier, Vt. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot, File)

Senators, agencies plot ways to head off opioids addiction

Government officials on Thursday said they're scrambling to keep Americans from getting hooked on opioids in the first place, from cutting the number of pills in circulation to crafting drugs that attack pain without triggering brain receptors that crave another high. Published October 5, 2017

Many customers use as a starting point before they are directed to state-run portals, so those marketplaces are worried about a downstream impact on their own enrollment. (Associated Press/File)

Ex-Obama officials launch campaign to promote Obamacare signups

When the Trump administration said it was slashing its budget for Obamacare outreach by more than $100 million, Lori Lodes was flabbergasted. Ms. Lodes, who promoted the federal website under President Obama, excoriated the new administration on social media, saying TV ads were the "No. 1 driver" for getting people to sign up. Published October 4, 2017

Former Health and Human Services Secretary Thomas Price (standing) resigned from his position Friday following a scandal about the cost of his travel. Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney sent out a memo to agency heads about approving travel plans. (Associated Press photographs)

Democrats hope HHS pick who won't topple Obamacare

President Trump's next pick to lead the Department of Health and Human Services could send a major signal about how committed the administration is to using executive powers to unwind the 2010 health care law. Published October 2, 2017

Senate Budget Committee chairman Sen. Michael Enzi's budget proposal was crafted with tax reform in mind. (Associated Press)

Tax reform delays new Trump shot at Obamacare repeal

The Senate GOP's new budget pushes Obamacare repeal to the sidelines in its drive for sweeping tax cuts, meaning President Trump won't get another clear shot at repealing the health-care law until late winter or spring. Published October 1, 2017

Former Health and Human Services Secretary Thomas Price (standing) resigned from his position Friday following a scandal about the cost of his travel. Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney sent out a memo to agency heads about approving travel plans. (Associated Press photographs)

Price scandal leads to policy of White House having to approve travel

President Trump's Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney sent a memo to agency heads, telling them the White House must approve travel following the resignation of Health and Human Services Secretary Thomas Price on Friday due to a scandal over the cost of his travel on private jets. Published October 1, 2017

Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., ranking member of the House Oversight Committee, speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington on Friday, May 19, 2017. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) ** FILE **

Democrats see sabotage in Obamacare web outages

House Democrats demanded to know Friday why the Trump administration plans "major outages" of the federal Obamacare website during open enrollment this fall, saying it aligns too easily with the president's oft-stated idea to let the law implode. Published September 29, 2017

In this Thursday, Feb. 5, 2015, file photo, a man walks past health insurer Anthem's corporate headquarters in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy, File)

Anthem pulls out of Obamacare market in Maine

Anthem, a major insurer, said Wednesday it will pull out of the Obamacare marketplace in Maine next year, as insurers navigate choppy waters in the wake of the GOP's failure to pass a repeal bill and square away plans to stabilize the markets. Published September 27, 2017

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. and other Senate Democrats, from left, Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., and Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., discuss consumer protections in the wake of a massive data breach at Equifax and a scandal at Wells Fargo, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017. Executives for both Wells Fargo and Equifax will testify in Senate committees next week. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Senate Democrats blast GOP plans to repeal consumer rule

Democrats warned Republicans on Wednesday against a move to promote forced arbitration between customers and companies, saying Americans deserve the right to sue corporations, such as Equifax, who lose their data. Published September 27, 2017

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., center, speaks, accompanied by Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., left, and Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017 in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Senate GOP shelves Obamacare repeal

Senate Republicans said Tuesday they're shelving their 11th-hour push to repeal Obamacare, admitting defeat in the face of three crippling defections from their majority. Published September 26, 2017