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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5:00am

Thu November 29, 2012
Shots - Health News

The Hidden Costs Of Raising The Medicare Age

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 9:18 am

Keith Gresham, 65, lines up four medications he takes at his home in Detroit in 2011. The self-employed painter was without health insurance for about a decade and was happy to finally turn 65 last year so he could qualify for Medicare.
Patricia Beck MCT/Landov

Whenever the discussion turns to saving money in Medicare, the idea of raising the eligibility age often comes up.

"I don't think you can look at entitlement reform without adjusting the age for retirement," Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said on ABC's This Week last Sunday. "Let it float up another year or so over the next 30 years, adjust Medicare from 65 to 67."

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6:46pm

Mon November 26, 2012
Shots - Health News

Prescribe 'Morning After' Pill For Teens Before They Need It, Doctors Say

Currently, you need a doctor's prescription to purchase emergency contraception, such as Plan B, if you are under 17.
AP

The nation's largest group of pediatricians is urging its members to write prescriptions in advance to enable teenagers to have fast access to the so-called morning-after birth control pill.

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3:28pm

Tue November 20, 2012
Shots - Health News

Administration Lays Down Rules For Future Health Insurance

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 6:14 pm

You've got questions about the health law? The Obama administration has some answers. Finally.

Now that the Supreme Court has found the Affordable Care Act constitutional and the president's re-election made clear that big chunks of the law will take effect Jan. 1, 2014, the administration is finally releasing rules of the road that states and insurance companies have been clamoring for.

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5:38pm

Thu November 15, 2012
Shots - Health News

Health Exchange Activity Heats Up As Deadline Is Extended

Originally published on Thu November 15, 2012 7:45 pm

Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman announced Thursday that his state will choose the federal health insurance exchange program.
Nati Harnik AP

There's nothing quite like a deadline to focus the mind. Even a deadline that's not quite real.

Friday was originally the day that states were supposed to not only tell the federal government whether they planned to run their own health exchanges but also how they planned to do it.

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6:15pm

Wed November 14, 2012
Shots - Health News

Health Care Cuts Are Coming. Here's Where Liberals Say You Can Slice

Originally published on Wed November 14, 2012 9:12 pm

Two new studies and a proposed class-action lawsuit settlement all have the potential to change dollar signs as lawmakers address the impending fiscal cliff.
iStockphoto.com

A liberal think-tank closely allied with the Obama administration is proposing a health care spending plan it says could save hundreds of billions of dollars in entitlement spending without hurting middle- and low-income patients.

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5:29pm

Wed November 14, 2012
Health Care

Liberal Group Proposes Reduced Medicare Spending

Originally published on Wed November 14, 2012 6:46 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

As the White House and Congress debate taxes and entitlement reform, an influential liberal think-tank is offering what appears to be an olive branch. It comes at a time when many Democrats are trying to protect entitlements, such as Medicare. At the same time, Republicans say those entitlements are too expensive in their present form.

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3:34am

Tue November 13, 2012
Shots - Health News

Health Insurance Exchanges Explained

Originally published on Tue November 13, 2012 1:33 pm

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam said last week the state could design its own health insurance exchange required under President Obama's health care law. But resistance in the Republican-controlled General Assembly may cause the state to hand that power off to the federal government.
Mark Humphrey AP

Last week's election may have settled the fate of the federal Affordable Care Act, but its implementation after months of uncertainty has caught many of the players unprepared.

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3:25am

Thu November 8, 2012
Shots - Health News

Obamacare Is Here To Stay, But In What Form?

Originally published on Thu November 8, 2012 10:46 am

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper signs a bill in June 2011 to pave the way for a health insurance exchange in the state.
Ed Andrieski AP

President Obama's re-election and the retention of a Democratic majority in the Senate means the likelihood of a repeal of the Affordable Care Act has receded.

So what now?

"The law is here and we should at this point expect it to still be here Jan. 1, 2014," says Alan Weil, executive director of the nonpartisan National Academy for State Health Policy.

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3:32am

Mon November 5, 2012
Shots - Health News

Why Abortion Has Become Such A Prominent Campaign Issue

Originally published on Mon November 5, 2012 10:25 am

Women use wordplay to protest Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's position on women's health care outside the Hyatt Regency, where Romney was scheduled to attend a fundraiser, on March 22 in Washington, D.C.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

5:04am

Fri November 2, 2012
Shots - Health News

Romney's Baffling Claim About Medicare Pay Cuts For Doctors

Originally published on Fri November 2, 2012 10:19 pm

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney makes his case about Medicare during a briefing in South Carolina in August.
Evan Vucci AP

Health care in general — and Medicare, in particular — have been big parts of this year's presidential campaign.

But over the last couple of weeks, Republican Mitt Romney has been making a new claim that doesn't quite clear the accuracy bar.

It has to do with $716 billion in Medicare reductions over 10 years included in the federal health law, the Affordable Care Act. And it's become a standard part of Romney's stump speech.

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11:13am

Tue October 30, 2012
Shots - Health News

Could Romney Repeal The Health Law? It Wouldn't Be Easy

Originally published on Tue October 30, 2012 1:41 pm

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks about the Supreme Court ruling on health care in Washington on June 28.
Charles Dharapak AP

You can barely listen to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney make a speech or give an interview without hearing some variation of this vow:

"On Day 1 of my administration, I'll direct the secretary of Health and Human Services to grant a waiver from Obamacare to all 50 states. And then I'll go about getting it repealed," he told Newsmax TV in September 2011.

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4:17am

Fri October 26, 2012
Shots - Health News

President Embraces 'Obamacare'; What Would Romney Do?

Originally published on Fri October 26, 2012 12:22 pm

During a campaign speech at Veterans Memorial Park in Manchester, N.H., Oct. 18, President Obama once again embraced the term "Obamacare" while discussing the Affordable Care Act.
Darren McCollester Getty Images

It's hard to find an issue on which President Obama and GOP challenger Mitt Romney disagree more than health care.

The 2010 Affordable Care Act is considered President Obama's signature legislative achievement, as well as something Romney has vowed to repeal.

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5:39pm

Thu October 25, 2012
Shots - Health News

As Fiscal Cliff Looms, Medicare And Medicaid Face Uncertain Budget Futures

Originally published on Thu October 25, 2012 6:02 pm

Two new studies and a proposed class action lawsuit settlement all have the potential to change dollar signs as lawmakers address the impending fiscal cliff.
iStockphoto.com

No matter who wins the election on Nov. 6, official Washington will have to deal with something called the "fiscal cliff" before the end of the year.

What's coming is a perfect storm of expiring tax cuts, scheduled budget cuts, and various other spending changes scheduled to take place Jan. 1 unless Congress and President Obama (who no matter what will still be president until next Jan. 20) agree on a way to avert them.

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6:58pm

Wed October 17, 2012
Shots - Health News

Romney Tries To Soften Birth Control Message

Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 7:06 pm

President Obama and GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney sparred over birth control, among other things, at the second presidential debate Tuesday in Hempstead, N.Y.
Carolyn Kaster AP

GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney has been firmly anti-abortion during this campaign.

But during Tuesday's debate on Long Island, N.Y., Romney charged that President Obama misrepresented his position on birth control. Here's what Obama said, during what began as a discussion of pay equity for women:

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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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