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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Shots - Health Blog
11:56 am
Wed September 12, 2012

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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Shots - Health Blog
1:02 pm
Tue September 11, 2012

Insurance Costs Rise, But More Slowly

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

Originally published on Wed September 12, 2012 4:44 am

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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Shots - Health Blog
2:37 pm
Mon September 10, 2012

Mitt Romney's Shifting Stance On Health Care

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

Originally published on Mon September 10, 2012 3:26 pm

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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Shots - Health Blog
2:03 pm
Mon September 3, 2012

Romney And Abortion: Another Shift In The Works?

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

Originally published on Tue September 4, 2012 9:48 am

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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Shots - Health Blog
8:34 am
Thu August 30, 2012

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

Originally published on Fri August 31, 2012 5:16 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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Shots - Health Blog
12:30 am
Mon August 13, 2012

Medicaid Fight Reinvigorated With Political Light On Health Care

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

Originally published on Mon August 13, 2012 6:57 am

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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Presidential Race
2:51 am
Sun August 12, 2012

Ryan Adds Stark Choice On Health Care To GOP Ticket

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

Originally published on Sun August 12, 2012 9:46 am

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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It's All Politics
2:57 pm
Mon August 6, 2012

Dressage Enthusiasts Find Romney-Driven Attention A Mixed Blessing

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

Originally published on Mon August 6, 2012 3:44 pm

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Shots - Health Blog
1:56 am
Wed August 1, 2012

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

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

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 4:31 am

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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Shots - Health Blog
10:13 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

GOP Says Coverage For The Uninsured Is No Longer The Priority

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

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 8:44 am

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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Shots - Health Blog
1:23 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

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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Shots - Health Blog
2:15 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

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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Shots - Health Blog
2:17 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

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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Shots - Health Blog
8:48 am
Fri July 20, 2012

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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Shots - Health Blog
12:08 am
Wed July 18, 2012

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

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

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 7:53 am

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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Health Care
3:10 am
Sun July 15, 2012

Eyes On Election, Governors Hedge On Health Care

Originally published on Sun July 15, 2012 8:11 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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Shots - Health Blog
2:09 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Governors Spar Over Medicaid And Health Exchanges

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

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 7:24 pm

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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Shots - Health Blog
1:03 pm
Thu July 12, 2012

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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