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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12:26pm

Wed April 3, 2013
Shots - Health News

Administration Hits Pause On Health Exchanges For Small Businesses

Originally published on Fri April 5, 2013 2:58 pm

Shops and other small firms may be open, but health insurance exchanges will take a little longer before they're ready to offer a full range of health plans for small business customers.
iStockphoto.com

The Obama administration is delaying the start of a key piece of the Affordable Care Act. Workers in small businesses will have to wait an additional year to be able to choose from more than one plan in the marketplaces that start next January.

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8:19am

Wed April 3, 2013
Health Care

White House Delays Part Of Health Care Law

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The Obama administration is delaying the start of a key piece of the Affordable Care Act - the national healthcare law. Workers in small businesses will have to wait an additional year to be able to choose from more than one plan in the new online marketplace that start next January. NPR's Julie Rovner reports that the change might dampen enthusiasm, at least at the start. But not everyone thinks that's a bad thing.

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3:27am

Tue March 26, 2013
Shots - Health News

Arkansas Medicaid Expansion Attracts Other States' Interest

Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 9:57 am

Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe speaks at a rally promoting the expansion of Medicaid in the state in front of the Capitol in Little Rock on March 7.
Danny Johnston AP

Since the Supreme Court made the Medicaid expansion under the federal health law optional last year, states' decisions have largely split along party lines. States run by Democrats have been opting in; states run by Republicans have mostly been saying no or holding back.

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6:18am

Sat March 23, 2013
Shots - Health News

At Age 3, Affordable Care Act Is No Less Controversial

Originally published on Sat March 23, 2013 12:33 pm

President Obama signs the Affordable Care Act at the White House on March 23, 2010.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

The Affordable Care Act turns 3 on Saturday, and it seems just as divisive as the day President Obama signed it.

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1:50pm

Wed March 20, 2013
Shots - Health News

As Health Law Turns Three, Public Is As Confused As Ever

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 8:07 am

Couldn't hurt to make a wish for good health!
Ruth Black iStockphoto.com

As the Affordable Care Act nears its third birthday this Saturday, a poll finds the public actually knows less about the law now than when it passed in 2010. Oh, and a lot of what people think they know just isn't so.

Those are the central findings of this month's tracking poll just released by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

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5:22pm

Tue March 12, 2013
Shots - Health News

Ryan Budget Proposal Echoes Obamacare While Rejecting It

House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., holds up a copy of the 2014 Budget Resolution as he speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 12, 2013.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Health policy watchers might have been amused reading the latest blueprint for the federal budget, out Tuesday.

That's because once again House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan proposes a full repeal of the Affordable Care Act, which Republicans refer to as "Obamacare." But this time, the proposal describes the changes it envisions to the Medicare program in very Obamacare-like terms.

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7:18pm

Mon February 25, 2013
Shots - Health News

Governors' D.C. Summit Dominated By Medicaid And The Sequester

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 7:31 pm

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad speaks during a panel discussion at the National Governors Association 2013 Winter Meeting in Washington, D.C.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

When the nation's governors gathered in Washington, D.C., over the weekend for their annual winter meeting, the gathering's official theme was about efforts to hire people with disabilities.

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5:04pm

Thu February 21, 2013
Shots - Health News

Morning-After Pills Don't Cause Abortion, Studies Say

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 4:51 pm

Plan B is one of two emergency contraceptives available in the U.S.
UPI/Landov

The most heated part of the fight between the Obama administration and religious groups over new rules that require most health plans to cover contraception actually has nothing to do with birth control. It has to do with abortion.

Specifically, do emergency contraceptives interfere with a fertilized egg and cause what some consider to be abortion?

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6:08pm

Wed February 20, 2013
Shots - Health News

In Reversal, Florida Gov. Scott Agrees To Medicaid Expansion

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 7:25 am

Florida Gov. Rick Scott, long a foe of the administration's health overhaul, reversed course and agree to accept federal funds to expand Medicaid in the state.
J Pat Carter AP

Perhaps Florida Gov. Rick Scott's motto should be "never say never."

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6:42pm

Tue February 19, 2013
Shots - Health News

How The Sequester Could Affect Health Care

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 6:56 pm

On Tuesday, President Obama urged congressional action to prevent automatic spending cuts scheduled to begin on March 1.
Jim Lo Scalzo EPA/Landov

It's looking increasingly likely that $85 billion of automatic federal budget cuts known as a sequester will come to pass if Congress doesn't act by March 1.

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11:56am

Thu February 14, 2013
Shots - Health News

More Women Turn To Morning-After Pill

The Plan B pill, one version of the morning-after pill, is available without a prescription, except for women 17 and younger.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

The number of women who have used emergency contraceptive pills has increased dramatically in the past decade, according to the latest government data.

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3:19pm

Thu February 7, 2013
Shots - Health News

Catholic Bishops Reject Compromise On Contraceptives

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 5:28 pm

Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, said the administration's attempted compromise on contraceptive coverage is unacceptable.
Patrick Semansky AP

It seems the third time wasn't the charm, after all.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has officially rejected the Obama Administration's latest attempt to ensure that women with health insurance get access to no-cost contraceptive coverage without violating the rights of religious employers.

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5:07pm

Wed February 6, 2013
Shots - Health News

Defying Expectations, GOP Governors Embrace Medicaid Expansion

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, a Republican, favors a federally subsidized expansion of Medicaid in his state.
Carlos Osorio AP

Top-ranked archrivals Michigan and Ohio State faced off Wednesday night on the basketball court for the second time in this season (Michigan won in overtime to split the series).

But both states' Republican governors have something more in common this week than an intense distaste for their neighboring state's athletic team.

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4:36pm

Wed February 6, 2013
Shots - Health News

Debate Rages On Even As Research Ban On Gun Violence Ends

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 6:12 pm

More than 400 guns, including these three, were turned in during a Dallas gun buyback program in January. But determining the effectiveness of such programs is difficult due to limits on gun-related research.
Tom Pennington Getty Images

The characteristics of gun violence in the U.S. are largely unknown because key federal health agencies have been banned from conducting such research since the mid-1990s.

President Obama, however, wants to change that.

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7:17pm

Fri February 1, 2013
Shots - Health News

White House Tries Again To Find Compromise On Contraception

Originally published on Fri February 1, 2013 7:35 pm

iStockphoto.com

The Obama administration on Friday issued another set of proposed rules — and asked for yet another round of public comments — in a continuing quest to find a way to ensure that women receive no-cost contraception as part of a package of preventive health services under the 2010 Affordable Care Act without requiring religious employers to violate their beliefs.

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