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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9:44am

Wed August 28, 2013
Shots - Health News

Despite Distaste For Health Law, Americans Oppose Defunding

Originally published on Wed August 28, 2013 4:49 pm

Defunding strikes most Americans as the wrong prescription for the Affordable Care Act.
Ricardo Reitmeyer iStockphoto.com

Opponents of the Affordable Care Act often talk about how unpopular it is.

And this month's tracking poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation bears them out. Negative views of the law (42 percent) top positive ones (37 percent).

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3:06am

Mon August 19, 2013
Shots - Health News

You Ask, We Answer: More Of Your Questions About The Affordable Care Act

Originally published on Mon August 19, 2013 11:06 am

From left, Garrett Berntsen, Jennifer Majer and William Shields compare notes at The Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, D.C. Twenty-somethings have new choices under Obamacare.
Heather Rousseau NPR

The Oct. 1 launch of the new health insurance exchanges is now less than two months away, and people are starting to pay attention to the changes these new marketplaces may bring to the nation's health care system.

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3:20am

Thu August 8, 2013
Shots - Health News

Obamacare Foes Make Final Push To Stop Health Law's Implementation

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 10:47 am

FreedomWorks website, which is urging citizens opposed to the Affordable Care Act to opt out of the law's requirement to have insurance. It asks Americans to symbolically "burn your Obamacare card." In reality, no such card will exist." href="/post/obamacare-foes-make-final-push-stop-health-laws-implementation" class="noexit lightbox">
A screenshot from the FreedomWorks website, which is urging citizens opposed to the Affordable Care Act to opt out of the law's requirement to have insurance. It asks Americans to symbolically "burn your Obamacare card." In reality, no such card will exist.
FreedomWorks

4:13pm

Wed August 7, 2013
Shots - Health News

Fix Is In For Congressional Obamacare Glitch

The new health law has left some 20,000 workers on Capitol Hill unsure of their health care options for the coming year.
Dwight Nadig iStockphoto

Finally, the federal HR department has released the health rule much of Capitol Hill has been waiting for.

There's now an explanation from the Office of Personnel Management on how members of Congress and much of their staff will get their health insurance starting next year.

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5:19pm

Fri August 2, 2013
Shots - Health News

Congress May Be Getting Its Own Obamacare Glitch Fixed

Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 10:16 pm

If you worked here, you'd be worried about losing your employer-funded health insurance contributions.
iStockphoto.com

As its last official action before leaving for a five-week summer break, the House today voted — for the 40th time — to block implementation of the federal health law.

But it was something that happened late Thursday night affecting members of Congress and their staffers' own health insurance that attracted more attention around the Capitol.

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3:18pm

Wed July 24, 2013
Shots - Health News

Plan B To Hit Shelves, Protected From Generics

Originally published on Thu July 25, 2013 5:54 pm

The Plan B One-Step morning-after pill will now be available to women as young as 15 without a prescription, and will have another three years of protection from generic competition.
AP

As expected, the Food and Drug Administration has granted an additional three years of protection from generic competition to the makers of the most popular form of the emergency contraceptive pill,

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4:19pm

Tue July 23, 2013
Shots - Health News

Obama Turns To Comedians To Promote Health Coverage

Comedian Sarah Silverman helped get out the vote for Obama in 2008 and 2012.
YouTube

Who needs jocks when you've got Jennifer Hudson and Amy Poehler?

That seems to be the message coming out of the White House following a star-studded meeting yesterday led by White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett. Its mission: Figure out how to help promote the Affordable Care Act.

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10:13am

Mon July 22, 2013
Shots - Health News

State Laws Limiting Abortion May Face Challenges On 20-Week Limit

Originally published on Mon July 22, 2013 4:57 pm

Becca Besaw of Austin, Texas, and Christopher Robertson of Fort Worth, Texas, protest the state's new law restricting access to abortion at a rally in Dallas on July 15.
Tony Gutierrez AP

Banning abortions after a specific point in pregnancy has been a popular trend in the states this year. Last week, GOP Gov. Rick Perry made Texas the 12th state to ban most abortions after 20 weeks.

But how states define the starting point for that 20 weeks may cause headaches for women and their doctors — and ultimately affect whether these laws pass constitutional muster.

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3:23am

Fri July 19, 2013
Shots - Health News

White House Muddles Obamacare Messaging — Again

Originally published on Sat July 20, 2013 6:13 am

President Obama walks off the stage after speaking about the Affordable Care Act during an event in the East Room of the White House on Thursday. Obama argued that the law is holding insurance companies accountable and putting money back into the pockets of consumers.
Susan Walsh AP

This summer was supposed to be a time to reintroduce the public to the Affordable Care Act and teach people how to sign up for benefits this fall.

But that's not what's happening.

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4:15pm

Fri July 12, 2013
Shots - Health News

Texas Abortion Fight Is Just One Of Many This Year

Opponents of a state abortion bill circle its supporters in Austin, Texas, in early July.
Eric Gay AP

The eyes of the nation may be on Texas, as legislators fight over whether to impose strict new regulations on abortion and those who provide it. But a report on abortion laws and regulation across the country finds that the Lone Star State isn't alone.

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3:16am

Fri July 12, 2013
Shots - Health News

Messy Rollout Of Health Law Echoes Medicare Drug Expansion

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 5:13 am

Back in 2006, President Bush and Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt talked with reporters during a trip to Florida, where Bush spoke to volunteers helping seniors sign up for the Medicare prescription drug benefit.
Mike Stocker AP

It hasn't been a good week for the Affordable Care Act. After announcements by the administration of several delays of key portions of the law, Republicans returned to Capitol Hill and began piling on.

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5:36pm

Wed July 10, 2013
Shots - Health News

GOP Says, Why Not Delay That Health Care Law, Like, Forever?

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 5:51 pm

U.S. Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., speaks at a press conference Wednesday on Republican plans to delay enactment of the Affordable Care Act. Looking on are Sens. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., John Barrasso, R-Wyo., and John Cornyn, R-Texas.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Sensing that recent delays in key portions of the Affordable Care Act have caught the Obama administration at a weak point in its rollout of the law, Republicans in Congress are doubling down on their efforts to cripple the measure, at least in the eyes of the public if not in fact.

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10:07am

Wed July 10, 2013
Shots - Health News

Catholics Split Again On Coverage For Birth Control

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 2:42 pm

Baltimore Archbishop William Lori gave voice to a letter Catholic groups sent to the administration and Congress to protest insurance rules for contraceptives.
Patrick Semansky AP
  • As Heard On Morning Edition

Two prominent Catholic groups are finding themselves, once again, on opposite sides of a key issue regarding the Affordable Care Act.

Three years ago, the Catholic Health Association, whose members run hospitals and nursing homes across the country, backed passage of the health law. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which represents the hierarchy of the church, opposed it.

Now the groups are divided over the law's requirement for most employer-based health insurance plans to provide women with birth control.

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2:44pm

Wed July 3, 2013
Shots - Health News

Delay For Insurance Mandate Pleases Businesses

Originally published on Wed July 3, 2013 4:07 pm

President Obama talked up the Affordable Care Act in San Jose, Calif., in June. Now, the administration has said a key provision affecting businesses won't take effect until 2015.
Evan Vucci AP

The Obama administration's decision late Tuesday to postpone the requirement for employers with 50 or more workers to offer health coverage or risk fines has satisfied some key members of the coalition that supported the law.

But the one-year reprieve also raises new questions about the administration's ability to get the huge health law up and running in an orderly fashion. The deadline for the new health exchanges to begin enrolling individuals is Oct. 1.

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4:52am

Wed July 3, 2013
Health Care

White House Delays Key Piece Of Affordable Care Act

Originally published on Wed July 3, 2013 9:52 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene.

The Obama administration set off some pre-4th of July fireworks last night. They announced a one-year delay in implementing a key piece of the Affordable Care Act. Employers with 50 or more workers will now have until 2015 to meet new health insurance requirements for their workforce.

NPR's Julie Rovner has more.

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