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 News
2:38 pm
Thu November 15, 2012

Health Exchange Activity Heats Up As Deadline Is Extended

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

Originally published on Thu November 15, 2012 4:45 pm

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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Shots - Health News
2:55 pm
Wed November 14, 2012

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

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

Originally published on Wed November 14, 2012 6:12 pm

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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Health Care
2:29 pm
Wed November 14, 2012

Liberal Group Proposes Reduced Medicare Spending

Originally published on Wed November 14, 2012 3:46 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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Shots - Health News
12:34 am
Tue November 13, 2012

Health Insurance Exchanges Explained

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

Originally published on Tue November 13, 2012 10:33 am

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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Shots - Health News
12:25 am
Thu November 8, 2012

Obamacare Is Here To Stay, But In What Form?

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

Originally published on Thu November 8, 2012 7:46 am

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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Shots - Health News
12:32 am
Mon November 5, 2012

Why Abortion Has Become Such A Prominent Campaign Issue

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

Originally published on Mon November 5, 2012 7:25 am

Abortion isn't usually a major issue in presidential campaigns.

But this year is different.

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Shots - Health News
2:04 am
Fri November 2, 2012

Romney's Baffling Claim About Medicare Pay Cuts For Doctors

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

Originally published on Fri November 2, 2012 7:19 pm

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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Shots - Health News
8:13 am
Tue October 30, 2012

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

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

Originally published on Tue October 30, 2012 10:41 am

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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Health Care
3:33 am
Tue October 30, 2012

Can Mitt Romney Really Repeal Obamacare?

Originally published on Tue October 30, 2012 8:14 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And let's move back to the presidential campaign. Mitt Romney has been criticized for being on many sides of many issues, but there's one where he's been pretty consistent: He wants to repeal the federal health care law. The question is: Can Romney actually keep that promise?

Here's NPR's Julie Rovner.

JULIE ROVNER, BYLINE: You can barely listen to Mitt Romney make a speech or give an interview without hearing some variation of this vow...

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

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Shots - Health News
7:50 am
Fri October 26, 2012

President Embraces 'Obamacare'; What Would Romney Do?

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

Originally published on Fri October 26, 2012 9:22 am

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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Shots - Health News
4:09 pm
Wed October 17, 2012

Romney Tries To Soften Birth Control Message

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

Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 4:06 pm

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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Shots - Health News
1:46 pm
Tue October 16, 2012

Medicare: Where Presidential Politics And Policy Collide

President Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney first debated Medicare on Oct. 3.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 4:06 pm

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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Shots - Health Blog
3:23 pm
Fri October 12, 2012

Vice Presidential Candidates Spar Over Medicare

Vice President Biden (left) and Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan during Thursday's debate.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 3:57 pm

It's hardly surprising that Thursday night's vice presidential debate in Danville, Ky., would feature a spirited debate about Medicare. GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan is the author of a controversial Medicare proposal that Democrats have been campaigning against for more than a year now.

But fact checkers have raised some flags about some of the claims the candidates made.

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Shots - Health Blog
4:02 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

Romney: People Don't Die For Lack Of Insurance

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney boards his campaign plane Thursday in Dayton, Ohio, for a flight to North Carolina. In comments to The Columbus Dispatch, Romney said uninsured Americans don't die from a lack of health care.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 1:48 pm

Another day, another editorial board, another controversial remark for Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. On Wednesday, it was abortion. On Thursday, health care.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:46 pm
Wed October 10, 2012

Romney's Remarks On Abortion Cause Stir

Mitt Romney's comments on abortion have surprised those on both sides of the issue.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 6:22 am

Just how many abortion positions does Mitt Romney have? Once again, that answer is unclear.

This time the confusion began Tuesday, during a meeting with the editorial board of the Des Moines Register.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:57 am
Sat October 6, 2012

Romney Health Care Debate Claim Gets Corrected By His Own Staff

Mitt Romney speaks during the presidential debate Wednesday in Denver.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 1:17 pm

Independent fact checkers have not been particularly kind to Mitt Romney since Wednesday's first presidential debate in Denver. But one of the candidate's claims turned out to be so far off the mark that he had to be corrected by his own aides — a fact not unnoticed by the Obama campaign.

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Shots - Health Blog
12:28 pm
Tue October 2, 2012

Democrats And Republicans Differ On Medicaid Fix

Isabelle "Simone" Svikhart, 3, has spent 13 months in the hospital for treatment of a range of health conditions. The Children's Hospital Association distributed a trading card with her picture and details of her case to lobby against Medicaid cuts.
Children's Hospital Association

Originally published on Tue October 2, 2012 3:14 pm

Medicaid is already the nation's largest health insurance program in terms of number of people covered: It serves nearly 1 in 5 Americans. Yet at the same time it's putting increasing strain on the budgets of states, which pay about 40 percent of its costs.

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It's All Politics
12:29 am
Tue September 25, 2012

Romney's Medicaid Remarks On '60 Minutes' Raise Eyebrows

Mitt Romney talks with 60 Minutes correspondent Scott Pelley.
AP

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 1:21 pm

It's not so much what Mitt Romney said about whether the government should guarantee people health care in his interview on CBS's 60 Minutes Sunday that has health care policy types buzzing. It's how that compares to what he has said before.

To back up a bit, Scott Pelley asked the former Massachusetts governor if he thinks "the government has a responsibility to provide health care to the 50 million Americans who don't have it today?"

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Shots - Health Blog
1:29 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Challenges To Health Law Just Keep Coming

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, seen at a news conference in early 2011 before he took office, promised to file a lawsuit soon after he was sworn in. He did.
Sue Ogrocki AP

The Affordable Care Act survived a near-death experience at the Supreme Court earlier this year. And the overhaul law's fate again hangs in the balance come Election Day. Mitt Romney has vowed to work for its repeal, if he's elected president.

Meanwhile, the law continues to take its hits.

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The Salt
12:05 am
Wed September 19, 2012

So What Happens If The Farm Bill Expires? Not Much, Right Away

Sens. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., and Pat Toomey, R-Pa., talk to reporters about the farm bill at the U.S. Capitol in June.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 1:53 pm

Congress is set to make a brief appearance in Washington this week, then recess until after Election Day. That means a farm bill is likely to be left undone, just one of the many items on lawmakers' "to-do" lists that won't happen anytime soon.

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