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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.

In a Jan. 9, 2013, file photo, 4-year-old Gabriella Diaz sits as registered nurse Charlene Luxcin, right, administers a flu shot at the Whittier Street Health Center in Boston, Mass. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday, Jan. 5, 2014, reported flu season is getting worse. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)

CDC: Flu vaccine is only 23 percent effective this season

This season's flu vaccine is effective against the virus only 23 percent of the time, a relatively low level of protection compared to years when the flu shot was better matched to circulating strains, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday. Published January 15, 2015

Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell speaks at the Treasury Department in Washington in this July 28, 2014, file photo. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

HHS makes last-minute Obamacare pitch to Hispanics

The administration urged Latinos Wednesday to beat the clock and get covered on Obamacare's exchanges within the next 30 days, citing health disparities among the fast-growing constituency and fixes to its Spanish-language website after a rocky first year. Published January 14, 2015

Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell (Associated Press) ** FILE **

HHS says federal Obamacare sign-ups hit 6.6 million

Nearly 6.6 million people selected health plans on the federal Obamacare exchange between Nov. 15 and Jan. 2, the Obama administration said Wednesday in its latest "snapshot" of activity in the law's second go-around. Published January 7, 2015

"I think you make the changes that you can, and you lay the groundwork and hopefully win the presidential election next time. Then I think we'll be in much better shape," said Rep. Tom Cole, Oklahoma Republican, looking ahead to the 2016 presidential contest. (Associated Press)

Republicans take aim at Obamacare 30-hour workweek

Republicans took control of Congress on Tuesday promising to whittle down Obamacare but still struggling to figure out how far to go — and whether any of their efforts can succeed with President Obama still in the White House. Published January 6, 2015

In this file photo taken Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014, a health worker, right, briefs another, left, on the use of their Ebola security gear before working with diseased Fanta Kone at a Ebola virus center in  Kayes, Mali. The last Ebola patient being treated in Mali has survived the disease and been released, the Health Ministry said Friday, Dec. 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Baba Ahmed, File)

Ebola screening: U.S. takes Mali off list

Travelers from Mali will no longer be singled out for enhanced Ebola-virus screening at U.S. airports, a pair of government agencies said Monday in a sign the government is willing to scale down its precautions once a country eradicates the disease from within its borders. Published January 5, 2015

Rep. Michael C. Burgess, Texas Republican. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) ** FILE **

Obamacare employer mandate kicks in Jan. 1

Obamacare's insurance mandate on employers will quietly take effect for large companies Thursday, one year later than planned after a pair of unilateral delays fed into Republican claims the White House plays fast and loose with the implementation of its signature law. Published December 31, 2014

FILE - This Nov. 12, 2014 file photo shows the website, where people can buy health insurance, on a laptop screen, shown in Portland, Ore. Consumers in most places will see their health insurance premiums go up next year for popular plans under President Barack Obama’s health care law.  But it will take time to get to a bottom line for family finances, let alone the larger political battle over the program’s future. For many people, government subsidies will cushion the hit. And there’s a new factor: returning customers who are savvy about health insurance and unafraid to shop for a better deal.   (AP Photo/Don Ryan)

7.1 million have signed up for Obamacare plans for 2015: HHS

Nearly 1.8 million new customers signed up for health coverage on the federal Obamacare marketplace and over 1.6 million actively re-enrolled for coverage starting Jan. 1, while an additional 600,000 new and returning customers added to the tally on exchanges run by 13 states and the District of Columbia, according to administration data released Tuesday. Published December 30, 2014