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.

Additionally, Rovner is a contributing editor for National Journal Daily, a publication covering Capitol Hill.

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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5:50pm

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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5:18am

Wed September 12, 2012
NPR Story

Health Premiums Rise Little, Survey Finds

Originally published on Wed September 12, 2012 9:28 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This year, health insurance premiums rose by one of the smallest increments in more than a decade, and that's according to a survey released yesterday. Still, as NPR's Julie Rovner reports, it's still not clear why this happened, and if it's only temporary.

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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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5:37pm

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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5:09pm

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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3:30am

Mon August 13, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Medicaid Fight Reinvigorated With Political Light On Health Care

Originally published on Mon August 13, 2012 9:57 am

Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., points to piles of the health care overhaul legislation during a markup hearing before the U.S. House Budget Committee last year in Washington, D.C.
Alex Wong Getty Images

The addition of Rep. Paul Ryan to the GOP ticket is certain to elevate health care as a campaign issue this fall.

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5:51am

Sun August 12, 2012
Presidential Race

Ryan Adds Stark Choice On Health Care To GOP Ticket

Originally published on Sun August 12, 2012 12:46 pm

Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., speaks Saturday in Norfolk, Va., after being named Mitt Romney's vice presidential running mate.
Win McNamee Getty Images

One thing Republican Mitt Romney's choice of Rep. Paul Ryan as his running mate will certainly do is elevate issues like Medicare and Medicaid to the top of the election agenda.

As the nation gets closer to Election Day, Ryan's addition to the GOP ticket will present the public with a dramatic choice about the role the government should play in health care.

One thing the Wisconsin congressman never does is apologize for thinking big.

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5:40pm

Mon August 6, 2012
It's All Politics

Dressage Enthusiasts Find Romney-Driven Attention A Mixed Blessing

Originally published on Mon August 6, 2012 6:44 pm

Jan Ebeling rides Rafalca in the equestrian dressage competition at the 2012 Summer Olympics on Aug. 2. Rafalca is co-owned by Ann Romney, the wife of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
Markus Schreiber AP

4:56am

Wed August 1, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Under Health Law, 'No-Cost' Birth Control Starts Today

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 7:31 am

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius joins Democratic senators at a news conference on Capitol Hill on Tuesday to announce new preventive health coverage for women that takes effect Wednesday.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Beginning today, most new and renewing health insurance plans must begin offering a broad array of women's preventive health services, most notably coverage of birth control, at no upfront cost.

But even as they take effect, the new rules remain the subject of legal challenges.

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1:13am

Fri July 27, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

GOP Says Coverage For The Uninsured Is No Longer The Priority

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 11:44 am

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell says covering the uninsured shouldn't be Republicans' top health priority.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

For decades, the primary goal of those who would fix the U.S. health system has been to help people without insurance get coverage. Now, it seems, all that may be changing. At least some top Republicans are trying to steer the health debate away from the problem of the uninsured.

The shift in emphasis is a subtle one, but it's noticeable.

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4:23pm

Thu July 26, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Feds And Health Insurers Partner To Fight Fraud

Insurers and the federal government are teaming up to fight health fraud.
iStockphoto.com

The Obama administration is enlisting new allies to fight health care fraud: insurers.

Today the Departments of Health and Human Services and Justice announced a partnership with more than a dozen health insurers and industry groups to nip fraudulent schemes in the bud, instead of tracking down bad guys after the fact.

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5:15pm

Wed July 25, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Flaws And All, Medicaid Can Improve Adults' Health

A budget crunch in Oregon led to an unintended experiment that helped researchers assess Medicaid's effect on adults' health.
iStockphoto.com

Among the reasons some governors say they're considering not expanding their Medicaid programs under the Affordable Care Act is that Medicaid is, well, not a very good program.

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5:17pm

Tue July 24, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

After Supreme Court Ruling, Health Law Will Cover Fewer And Cost Less

When the U.S. Supreme Court made a Medicaid expansion optional under the Affordable Care Act, the decision lowered the estimated cost of the law.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

The Congressional Budget Office and Joint Tax Committee this afternoon issued their long-awaited analysis of the cost of the Affordable Care Act post-Supreme Court changes.

Their verdict? Making the expansion of Medicaid optional for states will result in fewer people (about 3 million fewer) getting coverage. But that will also reduce the overall price tag of the law over the next decade by about $84 billion.

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11:48am

Fri July 20, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Abortion Back On The Front Burner For Congress

It's not just states where abortion is heating up as an issue this election year. Congress is getting back into the fray, too.

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3:08am

Wed July 18, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Could The Health Law End Up Back In Court? Opponents Think So

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 10:53 am

Democratuic Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa, who was involved in writing the health law, rejects claims that federal health exchanges won't be able to provide tax credits.
Alex Wong Getty Images

If you thought last month's Supreme Court ruling upholding the Affordable Care Act was the final word on the legality of the health law, think again. Some conservative scholars believe they may have discovered a flaw that could send the law back to court, or at least cause some big problems for its implementation.

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6:10am

Sun July 15, 2012
Health Care

Eyes On Election, Governors Hedge On Health Care

Originally published on Sun July 15, 2012 11:11 am

As governors from around the country meet this weekend in Williamsburg, Va., health care is near the top of their agenda. Specifically, what to do about the federal health law, now that the Supreme Court has given states new options.

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5:09pm

Fri July 13, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Governors Spar Over Medicaid And Health Exchanges

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 10:24 pm

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell says Medicaid should be overhauled before it's expanded.
Cliff Owen AP

The nation's governors — well, many of them, anyway — are gathering in Colonial Williamsburg, Va., for their annual summer meeting this weekend.

It's no easy trick for the National Governors Association to get Republican and Democratic chief executives on the same page, or even the same room.

This year, in the wake of the Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Care Act, it's even harder.

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4:03pm

Thu July 12, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

State Legislatures Stay Busy On Abortion Laws

Virginia Senate Republican Leader Thomas Norment, of James City, (left), and State Sen. Stephen Newman, of Lynchburg, listen to a Feb. debate on a bill requiring an ultrasound before an abortion. The bill was later amended to remove a requirement for transvaginal ultrasound.
Steve Helber AP

2011 was a banner year for state laws restricting abortion. And 2012 looks like runner-up.

That's the central finding of the midyear report from the Guttmacher Institute, the reproductive policy research group that keeps track of such things.

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3:21am

Wed July 11, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Will Medicaid Bring The Uninsured Out Of The Woodwork?

Originally published on Thu July 12, 2012 4:54 pm

Texas Gov. Rick Perry is the latest state executive to say no to an expansion of Medicaid.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Ever since the Supreme Court decided last month that an expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act should be optional, quite a few Republican governors have been vowing to take a pass.

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4:19pm

Fri July 6, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

More Answers To Your Questions About The Health Care Law

Originally published on Tue July 10, 2012 4:46 pm

The Affordable Care Act remains pretty much intact after its review by the Supreme Court. So what's in it anyway?
Adam Cole NPR

Now that the Supreme Court has upheld almost all of the Affordable Care Act, many Americans are scrambling to remember — or learn for the first time – what's in the law and how it works.

We asked for questions from our audiences online and on air. Here's are some, edited for clarity and length, and the answers:

Q: Will the penalty for not having health insurance affect people at all income levels, or will low-income people be spared?

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2:32pm

Tue July 3, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

True Or False? Elected Officials Interpret The Health Law

Louisiana Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal wants the administration's health care law repealed.
Michael Conroy AP

How well do you remember what's actually in the Affordable Care Act?

Last week's Supreme Court decision upholding President Obama's signature domestic achievement has thrust the measure back into the spotlight, where it's likely to remain through the presidential election.

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6:28pm

Fri June 29, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

The Day After A Health Care Crescendo, Each Side Plays A Familiar Refrain

Originally published on Fri June 29, 2012 10:26 pm

Joy Reynolds of San Diego, Calif., looks over Friday's front pages on display at the Newseum in Washington, the day after the Supreme Court ruling on President Barack Obama's health care law.
David Goldman AP

On the day after the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of President Obama's health care law, Washington returned to business as usual.

In other words, supporters of the law were busy praising its virtues, and opponents calling for its demise.

Over at Georgetown University Law Center, several health law experts got together to dissect the court's ruling and what it might mean down the line.

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11:13pm

Thu June 28, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

High Court Health Care Ruling Shifts Action To States

Originally published on Fri June 29, 2012 9:27 pm

Protesters and supporters of President Obama's health care law await the Supreme Court's ruling Thursday. The court ruled to uphold the law. The focus now shifts to the states, which are responsible for the lion's share of getting people without insurance covered.
Kevin Dietsch UPI /Landov

The Supreme Court's decision to uphold nearly all of the Affordable Care Act may move the debate to the presidential campaign trail. But it shifts much of the burden of implementing the law to the states.

States are actually responsible for the lion's share of getting people without insurance covered under the health law.

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5:01pm

Wed June 27, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Medicaid Expansion Goes Overlooked In Supreme Court Anticipation

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 6:20 pm

When the U.S. Supreme Court rules Thursday on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, it will also rule on whether the expansion of Medicaid is an unconstitutional infringement of states' rights.
Adam Cole NPR

When the Supreme Court announces its long-anticipated decision on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act on Thursday, all eyes will be on the so-called individual mandate. That's the section of the law that requires most Americans to either have health insurance or pay a penalty starting in 2014.

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6:04am

Sun June 24, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Countdown To The Supreme Court's Ruling On Health Care

Originally published on Thu June 28, 2012 8:46 am

People wait outside the Supreme Court last week for word on the fate of the federal health overhaul law.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Anticipation has reached a fever pitch, and the waiting is almost over.

This week, the Supreme Court is almost certain to issue its decision on the constitutionality of President Obama's health care law. The decision could have far-reaching implications for the legal landscape, the nation's health care system and even the Supreme Court's legacy.

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3:04am

Fri June 22, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Why Many Young Adults Might Lose Coverage If Health Law Falls

Originally published on Thu June 28, 2012 9:39 am

Jackson Cahn, who graduated from Whitman College in Walla Walla, Wash., is one of the 3 million young adults the Obama administration says would have risked going without insurance if the health care law hadn't allowed them to stay on their parents' policies. Because of the law, his mother, June Blender, was able to add him to her insurance.
Courtesy of June Blender

When it comes to health care, even the seemingly easy things become hard.

Take coverage for young adults under the Affordable Care Act.

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6:15pm

Tue June 19, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

How Opponents Won The Health Care Messaging War

OK, so it's not exactly news that the Obama administration hasn't done the best job in the world selling the Affordable Care Act to the American public.

But now the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism has some statistics to demonstrate just how sorry that job has been. And it suggests that the media gets at least some of the blame.

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4:35pm

Mon June 18, 2012
It's All Politics

A Horse Is A Horse, Unless Of Course It's Ann Romney's Dressage Champ

Originally published on Mon June 18, 2012 7:26 pm

Ann Romney, wife of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, wears a "Dressage is no. 1" foam finger at a competition on Saturday. Romney's horse, Rafalca, qualified for the 2012 Olympic dressage team.
Courtesy of Steve O'Byrne

Whether it's good or bad for Mitt Romney's presidential campaign, Ann Romney's horse Rafalca qualified for the U.S. Olympic dressage team over the weekend.

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