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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.

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

Accenture wins $563M contract to run

The Obama administration has awarded Accenture — the technology company that swooped in to help revive at the start of this year — a five-year, $563 million contract to continue its work on the federal Obamacare exchange, the company said Monday. Published December 29, 2014

GOP governors look for ways to expand Medicaid

Even as states wrestle with whether to expand their Medicaid programs under Obamacare, they're already grappling with the looming 2017 date when the federal government begins to cut its support, which will force states to have to make tricky budget decisions. Published December 28, 2014

Obama marks end of Afghan mission as 'milestone'

President Obama marked the end of America's longest-ever war Sunday by praising those who died in the post-9/11 mission in Afghanistan and trumpeting his own efforts to bring troops home, even as he committed to leaving a "limited military presence" to train Afghan forces for the lingering fight against extremists. Published December 28, 2014