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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.

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)

Obamacare enrollment at 765K after Week 2

About 765,000 people have chosen a private health plan on the federal Obamacare marketplace since year-two enrollment began on Nov. 15, the Obama administration reported Wednesday. Published December 3, 2014

The John J. Pershing Memorial in Pershing Park, located in downtown Washington, D.C., is seen here. (Wikipedia)

Defense bill authorizes WWI memorial at park near White House

A national defense bill released late Tuesday designated Pershing Park in downtown Washington as a national World War I memorial, putting an official stamp on the contentious debate over how and where to recognize the Great War and put it on par with other 20th century conflicts memorialized in the capital. Published December 3, 2014

President Barack Obama speaks at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2014 in Bethesda, Md.  Obama visited NIH to highlight advances in research for an Ebola vaccine and push Congress to approve his request for $6.2 billion to fight the disease and prevent its spread in the U.S. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Obama presses Congress to approve Ebola funding request: 'Isn't close to being over'

President Obama on Tuesday hailed U.S. efforts to develop a vaccine for Ebola and pleaded with Congress to pass his $6.2 billion request to combat the virus at home and abroad, warning that while efforts in the West African hot zone have shown progress, the fight is “not even close to being over.” Published December 2, 2014

A White House official said Sunday night that President Obama will hold three meetings Monday focusing on police tactics in minority communities as protests persist over a grand jury's refusal to indict a white police officer for the shooting death of a black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri. (Associated Press)

Obama enters Ferguson fray, plans meetings on police tactics in minority communities

The Missouri police officer at the heart of a racial controversy roiling the nation decided to resign because of threats against the Ferguson Police Department and its officers, his attorney said Sunday, hours before the White House announced President Obama would enter the raging debates prompted by the Ferguson shooting with a series of White House events. Published November 30, 2014

In this March 24, 2014 file photo, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick reacts as he speaks at a leadership forum in Boston. The state that served as a template for President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act had significant trouble coordinating with the federal government. The Massachusetts state-run health insurance website, designed by the same contractor that worked on the troubled federal website, performed so poorly that it prompted a public apology from Gov. Patrick. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)

Gov. Deval Patrick: Obama faces balancing test amid Ferguson furor

Outgoing Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick said Sunday that President Obama probably wants to visit Ferguson, Missouri, and comfort the family of Michael Brown, but his hands are tied because the Justice Department is steeped in a civil rights probe of the incident. Published November 30, 2014

HHS: More than 450K chose plan on in first week

The Health and Human Services Department said Wednesday that 462,000 people selected a health plan through the Obamacare exchanges during the first week of open enrollment, and that roughly half were customers renewing existing plans. Published November 26, 2014

Licensed clinician Margaret Chilcott removes her outer gloves before disrobing and sanitizing in Anniston, Ala.  As hospitals across the country prepare for a possible new case of Ebola, demand for impermeable gowns and full-body suits has surged. Equipment manufacturers and distributors are scrambling to keep up with the glut of orders, doubling staffs and still facing weekslong backlogs. (Associated Press)

D.C resident off Ebola watch list just in time for Thanksgiving

D.C. resident Brett Sedgewick had been to Liberia and flown back to Washington Dulles International Airport before, but when he returned earlier this month the digital printout of his passport scan had a big "X" on it. Published November 25, 2014

Jonathan Gruber poses in his home in Lexington, Mass., in this Feb. 8, 2011, file photo. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)

Jonathan Gruber, Obamacare 'architect,' agrees to testify before Congress

Jonathan Gruber, an MIT economics professor and key Obamacare adviser, has agreed to testify before the House oversight committee next month after critics unearthed a string of YouTube videos that depict him saying the "stupidity" of the American voter and legislative sleight of hand helped the contentious law make it through Congress. Published November 25, 2014

Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn. speaks to supporters, Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014, in Knoxville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)

Lamar Alexander: Anti-discrimination board undermining own mission

A government commission that probes workplace discrimination is chasing shaky legal cases that result in embarrassing and costly losses, a Republican senator charged Monday in a report that says the body has underperformed of late compared to the Bush era. Published November 24, 2014

House Speaker John Boehner (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

John Boehner files long-awaited lawsuit over Obamacare

House Speaker John A. Boehner filed a long-awaited lawsuit Friday that alleges President Obama took unlawful steps to delay part of his health care law and is paying out funds to insurers without congressional approval. Published November 21, 2014

Obamacare stats inflated when dental plans mistakenly included in tallies

The Obama administration acknowledged Thursday it mistakenly included up to 400,000 dental plans in the 7.1-million enrollment figure it touted before Obamacare's second round, a move that nudged them above congressional budget estimates for participation in the contentious overhaul. Published November 20, 2014