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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 Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2014, file photo shows the Anthem logo at the company's corporate headquarters in Indianapolis. Health insurer Anthem said in a statement Wednesday Feb. 4, 2015, that hackers infiltrated its computer network and accessed a swathe of personal information about current and former customers including their incomes and street addresses. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings, File)

Anthem, health insurer, hacked; Social Security numbers exposed

Anthem, the nation's second-largest health insurer, says it was the victim of a "very sophisticated" cyberattack that may have exposed the names and Social Security numbers of tens of millions of past and present members. Published February 5, 2015

"Today we offer a bold bicameral plan that fully repeals and replaces the health care law with reforms that empower patients, not Washington," said Sen. Orrin Hatch, Utah Republican. (Associated Press)

Republicans release Obamacare Plan B in case of repeal or court ruling

President Obama's top health official refused to say Wednesday if she's prepared for a Supreme Court ruling that could blow a hole through Obamacare this year, exasperating Republicans who said the White House is putting millions of enrollees on a collision course with no exit ramp. Published February 4, 2015

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

7.5 million have signed up on

Nearly 7.5 million Obamacare customers signed up on through Jan. 30, the administration said Wednesday in a weekly enrollment update that provided major metropolitan data for the first time. Published February 4, 2015

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. addresses the media with from left, Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., and Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn of Texas in the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, February 3, 2015.   Republicans newly in charge of Congress challenged President Barack Obama at both ends of the Capitol on Tuesday, lining up in the House to repeal the health care program he signed into law and struggling in the Senate to roll back the immigration policies he issued on his own.  (AP Photo/Molly Riley)

House votes to repeal, replace Obamacare

The House voted largely along party lines Tuesday to repeal and replace Obamacare, with Republicans vowing to satisfy midterm voters who demanded a new path forward while Democrats taunted their rivals as oblivious to the plight of the uninsured. Published February 3, 2015

Sen. John Barrasso, Wyoming Republican, and his GOP colleagues are examining replacements for Obamacare. "We want to make sure the American people know we're going to be there to help people who are being harmed by the law," Mr. Barrasso said. (Associated Press) ** FILE **

Republicans proposing vote on Obamacare alternative

Republicans have vowed to be ready with a replacement for Obamacare if the Supreme Court pokes a hole in the signature law later this summer, and will vote in the House Tuesday to both repeal the law and to give themselves a mandate to find the replacement. Published February 2, 2015

Pediatrician Charles Goodman vaccinates 1-year-old Cameron Fierro with the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine, or MMR vaccine at his practice in Northridge, Calif., on Jan. 29, 2015. Some doctors are adamant about not accepting patients who don't believe in vaccinations, with some saying they don't want to be responsible for someone's death from an illness that was preventable. (Associated Press)

CDC director: Vaccinate your kids, there's nothing to fear

The nation's top disease fighter pleaded Monday with Americans to vaccinate their children against measles for their own sake and that of others, a response to the outbreak that's been linked to the Disneyland theme park and anti-vaccine movements in some communities. Published February 2, 2015

House Speaker John A. Boehner said that after the upcoming GOP House retreat, the Republicans will have a better plan on how to cancel out President Obama's amnesty. (Associated Press)

Republicans to open February with vote to repeal Obamacare

House Republicans will kick off February with a vote to repeal Obamacare, providing new members the chance to put their opposition on the record as the party chips away at the overhaul and devises some reforms of its own. Published January 29, 2015

The website (AP Photo/Don Ryan, File)

Obamacare signups hit 9.5 million with month still left to go

About 9.5 million Americans selected Obamacare plans with a month to spare before the Feb. 15 deadline to sign up, meaning the Obama administration likely will far exceed its modest enrollment goals for the law's health exchanges in 2015. Published January 27, 2015

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence delivers his State of the State address to a joint session of the legislature at the Statehouse in Indianapolis, Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2015. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Indiana Gov. Pence says Obama admin. has approved his Medicaid plan

The Obama administration has approved Indiana's twist on Medicaid expansion, Gov. Mike Pence announced Tuesday, casting the reforms as a consumer-driven overhaul to insure up to 350,000 low-income Hoosiers while distancing himself from Obamacare. Published January 27, 2015

Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell speaks at the Treasury Department in Washington on July 28, 2014. (Associated Press) ** FILE **

HHS outlines shift away from Medicare fee-for-service model

The Obama administration on Monday set a timeline for historic changes in how it compensates doctors, hospitals and other providers under Medicare, shifting from line-item payments for every service rendered to a system that rewards quality. Published January 26, 2015

A Houthi Shiite fighter shows support for his comrades after seizing the capital in Sanaa, Yemen. President Obama has yet to reveal a response. (Associated Press)

Yemen coup shows Obama lacks Middle East terror strategy, critics say

The Yemeni government's fall to Iran-backed Shiite militants last week is only the latest sign that Tehran is "on the march" and that President Obama needs a battle plan to rout extremists across the Middle East, the administration's critics charged Sunday. Published January 25, 2015

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee waits backstage before speaking during the Freedom Summit in Des Moines, Iowa.  (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Mike Huckabee says he will announce presidential plans in spring

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee says he won't decide on a presidential bid until spring. But he basically threw his hat in the ring Sunday, shoring up his opposition to Common Core education standards and walking a fine line on immigration as the GOP primary season heats up. Published January 25, 2015

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington in this June 4, 2014, file photo. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

John McCain: Iran 'on the march'

Sen. John McCain said Sunday that Iran is "on the march" and that President Obama lacks a strategy to deal with the Islamic republic, ratcheting up a tense standoff between congressional Republicans and the White House. Published January 25, 2015

'UNBREAKABLE BOND': Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Obama both said reports about more distant relations in the past year were "wrong." Mr. Netanyahu visited Mr. Obama in the Oval Office and talked with a group of reporters. (Associated Press)

White House again denounces Congress invite to Netanyahu

The White House sought the high ground Sunday in objecting to House Republicans' decision to invite Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address Congress without President Obama's blessing, saying it is foolhardy to disrupt negotiations with Iran as the Islamic Republic seeks a nuclear weapon. Published January 25, 2015