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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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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3:37am

Tue January 22, 2013
Shots - Health News

'Roe V. Wade' Turns 40, But Abortion Debate Is Even Older

Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 3:57 pm

While the U.S. Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision of Jan. 22, 1973, is usually considered the start of the abortion debate, the move to relax state abortion laws began with medical and law professionals in the 1960s. Here, Eunice Kennedy Shriver and doctors from Johns Hopkins University and the Harvard Divinity School announce the International Conference on Abortion on Aug. 9, 1967.
Bob Daugherty AP

Jan. 22, 2013, marks the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion nationwide.

But the conventional wisdom that the court's 7-2 decision marked the beginning of a contentious battle that still rages today is not the case, according to those on both sides of the dispute.

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11:45am

Mon January 21, 2013
The Two-Way

Inauguration Ceremony: Memories In The Making

Originally published on Tue January 22, 2013 6:54 am

A crowd walks through downtown Washington, D.C., toward the National Mall.
Chris Usher EPA/Landov

Update 2:30 p.m. 'Hoping For Unity':

With the ceremony at the Capitol complete, spectators looked ahead to their hopes for the next four years. Speaking to NPR's Tom Dreisbach, here's what some in the crowd had to say:

"I'm looking for Washington to start getting along. I mean nobody's working together. And both sides have got to give a little bit and they've got to come to some agreement on some things."

-- Alan Dillon, 50, elementary school principal, Western Slope, Colo.

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5:34pm

Fri January 11, 2013
Shots - Health News

Businesses Sue Government Over Birth Control Mandate

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 8:07 pm

The Hobby Lobby chain of arts and crafts stores has gone to court to block a provision of the administration's health law that requires employers' health plans to pay for contraceptives.
Tony Gutierrez AP

When Congress passed the Affordable Care Act in 2010, few would have predicted that one of the most contentious provisions would have to do with contraception.

But today federal officials are grappling with more than 40 lawsuits claiming that the requirement for most health plans to provide contraceptive coverage to women violates their religious freedom.

And religious groups aren't the only ones going to court.

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6:13pm

Mon January 7, 2013
Shots - Health News

Health Spending Increases Remain At Record Lows

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 6:57 pm

Orcea David iStockphoto.com

For the third straight year, spending on health care in 2011 grew at a historically slow rate, government researchers report.

According to a study published in the January issue of the policy journal Health Affairs, U.S. health spending rose 3.9 percent in 2011. That's statistically almost identical to the rate of increase in each of the two previous years.

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3:30am

Fri January 4, 2013
Shots - Health News

Bargain Over Fiscal Cliff Brings Changes To Health Care

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 8:46 am

A compromise bill that passed the Congress at the last minute included provisions that will reverberate through the nation's health care system.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

The bill that prevented the nation from plunging over the fiscal cliff did more than just stop income tax increases and delay across-the-board spending cuts. It also included several provisions that tweaked Medicare and brought bigger changes to other health care programs.

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