Julie Rovner

Julie Rovner is a health policy correspondent for NPR specializing in the politics of health care.

Reporting on all aspects of health policy and politics, Rovner covers the White House, Capitol Hill, the Department of Health and Human Services in addition to issues around the country. She served as NPR's lead correspondent covering the passage and implementation of the 2010 health overhaul bill, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

A noted expert on health policy issues, Rovner is the author of a critically-praised reference book Health Care Politics and Policy A-Z. Rovner is also co-author of the book Managed Care Strategies 1997, and has contributed to several other books, including two chapters in Intensive Care: How Congress Shapes Health Policy, edited by political scientists Norman Ornstein and Thomas Mann.

In 2005, Rovner was awarded the Everett McKinley Dirksen Award for distinguished reporting of Congress for her coverage of the passage of the Medicare prescription drug law and its aftermath.

Rovner has appeared on television on the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, CNN, C-Span, MSNBC, and NOW with Bill Moyers. Her articles have appeared in dozens of national newspapers and magazines, including The Washington Post, USA Today, Modern Maturity, and The Saturday Evening Post.

Prior to NPR, Rovner covered health and human services for the Congressional Quarterly Weekly Report, specializing in health care financing, abortion, welfare, and disability issues. Later she covered health reform for the Medical News Network, an interactive daily television news service for physicians, and provided analysis and commentary on the health reform debates in Congress for NPR. She has been a regular contributor to the British medical journal The Lancet. Her columns on patients' rights for the magazine Business and Health won her a share of the 1999 Jesse H. Neal National Business Journalism Award.

An honors graduate, Rovner has a degree in political science from University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.

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5:09pm

Tue October 16, 2012
Shots - Health News

Medicare: Where Presidential Politics And Policy Collide

Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 7:06 pm

President Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney first debated Medicare on Oct. 3.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Medicare, the federal health insurance program for about 50 million senior and disabled Americans, is simultaneously one of the most popular and imperiled programs in America.

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6:44pm

Fri October 12, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Vice Presidential Candidates Spar Over Medicare

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 6:57 pm

Vice President Biden (left) and Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan during Thursday's debate.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

It's hardly surprising that Thursday night's vice presidential debate in Danville, Ky., would feature a spirited debate about Medicare. GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan is the author of a controversial Medicare proposal that Democrats have been campaigning against for more than a year now.

But fact checkers have raised some flags about some of the claims the candidates made.

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7:19pm

Thu October 11, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Romney: People Don't Die For Lack Of Insurance

Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 4:48 pm

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney boards his campaign plane Thursday in Dayton, Ohio, for a flight to North Carolina. In comments to The Columbus Dispatch, Romney said uninsured Americans don't die from a lack of health care.
Evan Vucci AP

Another day, another editorial board, another controversial remark for Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. On Wednesday, it was abortion. On Thursday, health care.

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5:22pm

Wed October 10, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Romney Causes Yet Another Abortion Stir

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 9:22 am

Mitt Romney's comments on abortion have surprised those on both sides of the issue.
Evan Vucci AP

Just how many abortion positions does Mitt Romney have? Once again, that answer is unclear.

This time the confusion began Tuesday, during a meeting with the editorial board of the Des Moines Register.

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5:57am

Sat October 6, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Romney Health Care Debate Claim Gets Corrected By His Own Staff

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 4:17 pm

Mitt Romney speaks during the presidential debate Wednesday in Denver.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Independent fact checkers have not been particularly kind to Mitt Romney since Wednesday's first presidential debate in Denver. But one of the candidate's claims turned out to be so far off the mark that he had to be corrected by his own aides — a fact not unnoticed by the Obama campaign.

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3:28pm

Tue October 2, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Democrats And Republicans Differ On Medicaid Fix

Originally published on Tue October 2, 2012 6:14 pm

Isabelle "Simone" Svikhart, 3, has spent 13 months in the hospital for treatment of a range of health conditions. The Children's Hospital Association distributed a trading card with her picture and details of her case to lobby against Medicaid cuts.
Children's Hospital Association

Medicaid is already the nation's largest health insurance program in terms of number of people covered: It serves nearly 1 in 5 Americans. Yet at the same time it's putting increasing strain on the budgets of states, which pay about 40 percent of its costs.

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3:29am

Tue September 25, 2012
It's All Politics

Romney's Medicaid Remarks On '60 Minutes' Raise Eyebrows

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 4:21 pm

Mitt Romney talks with 60 Minutes correspondent Scott Pelley.
AP

It's not so much what Mitt Romney said about whether the government should guarantee people health care in his interview on CBS's 60 Minutes Sunday that has health care policy types buzzing. It's how that compares to what he has said before.

To back up a bit, Scott Pelley asked the former Massachusetts governor if he thinks "the government has a responsibility to provide health care to the 50 million Americans who don't have it today?"

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4:29pm

Thu September 20, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Challenges To Health Law Just Keep Coming

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, seen at a news conference in early 2011 before he took office, promised to file a lawsuit soon after he was sworn in. He did.
Sue Ogrocki AP

The Affordable Care Act survived a near-death experience at the Supreme Court earlier this year. And the overhaul law's fate again hangs in the balance come Election Day. Mitt Romney has vowed to work for its repeal, if he's elected president.

Meanwhile, the law continues to take its hits.

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3:05am

Wed September 19, 2012
The Salt

So What Happens If The Farm Bill Expires? Not Much, Right Away

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 4:53 pm

Sens. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., and Pat Toomey, R-Pa., talk to reporters about the farm bill at the U.S. Capitol in June.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Congress is set to make a brief appearance in Washington this week, then recess until after Election Day. That means a farm bill is likely to be left undone, just one of the many items on lawmakers' "to-do" lists that won't happen anytime soon.

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5:50pm

Fri September 14, 2012
It's All Politics

White House Details 2013 Cuts If Congress Doesn't Avert Fiscal Cliff

The White House Friday released a report detailing, in part, what life would look like on the other side of the fiscal cliff, which could occur at the end of the year.

Under orders from Congress, the administration detailed exactly how it would administer painful cuts to both defense and domestic programs that were ordered under last year's budget deal.

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2:56pm

Wed September 12, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

More Americans Have Health Insurance, But Not Many More

Census Bureau

The nation's official measure of health insurance coverage turned positive for the first time in quite a while.

The Census Bureau reported a decline in the number of Americans without coverage in 2011. But the ranks of the uninsured remain pretty high.

All told, 48.6 million people, or 15.7 percent of the population, had no health insurance last year, down 1.4 million from 50 million in 2010.

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4:02pm

Tue September 11, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Insurance Costs Rise, But More Slowly

Originally published on Wed September 12, 2012 7:44 am

Heath coverage will cost you more than last year, but not as much as it might have.
iStockphoto.com

If you get health insurance on the job, chances are it cost more again this year.

Annual family health insurance premiums rose about 4 percent to $15,745 in 2012, according to the latest survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation and Health Research and Educational Trust.

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5:35pm

Mon September 10, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Mitt Romney's Shifting Stance On Health Care

Originally published on Mon September 10, 2012 6:26 pm

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney talks about the Supreme Court's health care ruling near the U.S. Capitol in Washington in late June.
Charles Dharapak AP

Mitt Romney seemed to make health care news in a Sunday interview on NBC's Meet the Press.

He said he might not want to repeal all of the Affordable Care Act.

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5:15pm

Mon September 3, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Romney And Abortion: Another Shift In The Works?

Originally published on Tue September 4, 2012 12:48 pm

Mitt Romney proclaimed himself a strong supporter of abortion rights in state campaigns in 1994 and in 2002. Now, he says he opposes almost all abortions.
Evan Vucci AP

Is Mitt Romney shifting his abortion position again?

It's fairly well-known that Romney proclaimed himself in favor of abortion rights when he ran for office in Massachusetts, then reversed himself before launching his presidential bid. But recently, the GOP nominee seems to be softening his opposition somewhat. Or is he?

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11:34am

Thu August 30, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Does Mother's Abortion History Affect Baby's Birth Weight?

Originally published on Fri August 31, 2012 8:16 am

Women who had multiple abortions before giving birth to a first child were more likely to have that child very prematurely or to deliver a child with a low birth weight, according to one of the first large-scale studies to look at the issue.

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