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.

Pages

5:43pm

Mon January 6, 2014
Shots - Health News

Health Care Costs Grew More Slowly Than The Economy In 2012

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 4:55 pm

NPR

Health care spending grew at a record slow pace for the fourth straight year in 2012, according to a new government report. But the federal officials who compiled the report disagree with their bosses in the Obama administration about why.

The annual report from the actuaries at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, published in the journal Health Affairs, found total U.S. health spending totaled $2.8 trillion in 2012, or $8,915 per person.

Read more

3:02am

Mon January 6, 2014
Shots - Health News

Dental Coverage Deciphered, And The Latest On Sign-Up Deadlines

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 4:01 pm

Laura Breland gets her teeth cleaned by Denise Lopez-Rodriguez at a community health center in Aurora, Colo., in 2012. Dental coverage is available through the Affordable Care Act.
John Moore Getty Images

New Year's Day marked the halfway point to sign up for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act for coverage this year.

And after a dismal start, things seem to be going a lot better on the HealthCare.gov website. Federal officials say more than 1 million people enrolled in coverage by the Christmas Eve deadline for coverage that began January 1.

Read more

7:50pm

Thu January 2, 2014
Shots - Health News

Medicaid Expansion Boosted Emergency Room Visits In Oregon

Originally published on Fri January 3, 2014 7:51 am

Does having health insurance make it less likely that people will come to the ER? No, says a study in Oregon.
iStockphoto

Giving poor people health insurance, the belief was, would decrease their dependence on hospital emergency rooms by providing them access to more appropriate, lower-cost primary care.

But a study published in the journal Science on Thursday finds that's not the case. When you give people Medicaid, it seems they use both more primary care and more emergency room services.

Read more

3:25am

Fri December 27, 2013
Shots - Health News

The Number 6 Says It All About The HealthCare.gov Rollout

Originally published on Mon December 30, 2013 8:08 am

iStockphoto

When it comes to health care, the rollout of the Affordable Care Act was supposed to be measured in the millions. That's how many people were expected to sign up for insurance to begin on Jan. 1.

But for both supporters and opponents of the law, there's one number that sticks out above all others. Six. That's how many people actually managed to enroll through the federal HealthCare.gov website the first day it opened, Oct. 1.

Read more

5:42pm

Fri December 20, 2013
Health Care

White House Announces Another Rule Change For Affordable Care Act

Originally published on Sat December 21, 2013 6:46 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Read more

11:32am

Fri December 20, 2013
Shots - Health News

Feds Drop Mandate For People Whose Insurance Was Canceled

Only hours before the deadline to sign up for health insurance that will begin Jan. 1, the Obama administration has offered people whose plans have been canceled a new option. They can sign up for catastrophic coverage instead.

These little-noticed plans cover only three primary care visits, specified preventive services and medical costs that exceed a catastrophic amounts. In 2014, that's $6,300 for an individual.

Read more

3:26am

Thu December 19, 2013
Shots - Health News

Congress Poised To Permanently Fix Its Medicare Payment Glitch

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 12:56 pm

It's health results — not the number of treatments — that should count, leaders say.
iStockphoto

The two-year budget deal approved by the Senate on Wednesday is aimed at preventing another government shutdown.

It also includes a familiar annual rider — language to avert a steep pay cut to doctors who treat Medicare patients. But this time might be different, with a fix that lasts. After more than a decade of temporary solutions, it appears Congress might be on the verge of permanently solving its persistent problem in the way it makes Medicare payments to doctors.

Read more

4:03pm

Wed December 18, 2013
Shots - Health News

People Buying Health Insurance Get A Bit More Time To Pay

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 6:34 pm

Oregon is still using paper applications to enroll people through the Affordable Care Act.
iStockphoto

There are seven shopping days left until Christmas. But there are just five days until another important deadline — the last day to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act if you want coverage to start January 1.

After a slow start, activity on the federal website HealthCare.gov has been heavy all month. And with the deadline approaching, some people are getting worried that they won't get signed up in time.

And this being the health care law, it's complicated. There is more than one deadline.

Read more

3:16am

Thu December 5, 2013
Shots - Health News

HealthCare.gov Now Allows Window Shopping, And A Do-Over

Originally published on Fri December 6, 2013 6:31 am

iStockphoto

One thing that's clear about the relaunch of the troubled HealthCare.gov website is that it can accommodate more people.

Federal officials said more than 1 million users logged in on Monday, and nearly that many on Tuesday.

Read more

1:34pm

Tue December 3, 2013
Shots - Health News

Nonprofits Challenge Missouri Licensing Law For Insurance Guides

Nonprofits that are supposed to be helping people figure out their health insurance options are challenging an allegedly restrictive state law.
iStockphoto

In the first lawsuit of its kind, several nonprofit groups that received federal grants to help people sign up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act are suing the state of Missouri.

The Missouri law requires health insurance helpers called navigators to be licensed by the state, which involves passing an exam and paying a fee.

Read more

Pages