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
1:37 pm
Mon September 19, 2011

To Cut Deficit, Obama Takes A Scalpel To Health Programs

President Barack Obama describes his plan to reduce the deficit in remarks delivered Monday in the White House Rose Garden.
Susan Walsh AP

President Obama's plan to cut the deficit doesn't exactly spare Medicare, Medicaid, and other federal health programs. But he also doesn't propose the sweeping sorts of changes envisioned by House Republicans earlier this year.

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Shots - Health Blog
12:26 pm
Tue September 13, 2011

The Churn Behind The Stable Rate For The Uninsured

At first glance, today's report from the U.S. Census Bureau on the number of Americans without health insurance in 2010 looks, well, a little dull. About 16.3 percent of people in the country were without health insurance, which "was not statistically different from the rate in 2009," the report points out.

But dig a little deeper and there's plenty of action.

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Shots - Health Blog
10:01 pm
Tue September 6, 2011

Conservatives Step Up Attacks On Public Funding For Birth Control

A survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation found two-thirds of respondents were in favor of the new requirement for insurance plans to offer prescription birth control without a copay or deductible.
Hamiza Bakirci iStockphoto.com

It used to be that opposition to publicly funded birth control was linked to abortion.

Either the birth control in question allegedly caused abortion, or the organization providing the birth control (read: Planned Parenthood) also performed abortions. But that's changing.

These days, more and more voices are opposing the provision of birth control for its own sake.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:28 pm
Mon August 29, 2011

Uninsured Largely Unaware Of Benefits Coming From Overhaul

When it comes to last year's Affordable Care Act, there's not much people agree on. Except, says Kaiser Family Foundation President and CEO Drew Altman, this one thing: "It really does help the uninsured; 32 million uninsured people will get coverage."

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Shots - Health Blog
3:38 pm
Wed August 24, 2011

Unwed Women Living With Partners Risk More Unplanned Pregnancies

Vicente Barcelo Varona iStockphoto.com

OK, so your mom was right.

It turns out that moving in with that special someone without getting married first puts you at very high risk for an unplanned pregnancy.

That's one of the key findings of a new report from the Guttmacher Institute.

The report found that overall, "the United States did not make progress toward its goal of reducing unintended pregnancy between 2001 and 2006." In fact, the rate was 49 percent in 2006, virtually unchanged from 48 percent in 2001.

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Shots - Health Blog
4:08 pm
Tue August 23, 2011

Medicare Trying Bundled Payments To Save Money, Improve Care

iStockphoto.com

For all those who say there's nothing in the Affordable Care Act that could reduce health care spending, this one's for you.

Medicare officials have unveiled the latest initiative to spring from last year's overhaul, and it's one some health economists have been lusting after for years: Bundling payments so that hospitals, doctors, and even post-hospital caregivers all have the same financial incentive to both work together and provide cost-effective care.

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Shots - Health Blog
10:33 am
Wed August 3, 2011

Do Hospitalists Cost More Than They Save?

Chances are, if you're admitted to the hospital, the doctor in charge of your care won't be your own. He or she will be a hospitalist, a relatively new type of specialist whose sole job is to oversee the care of hospitalized patients.

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Shots - Health Blog
11:19 am
Mon August 1, 2011

Feds Order Insurers To Cover Birth Control Free Of Charge To Women

Before long, almost all insurers will have to cover birth control pills at no charge to women.
iStockphoto.com

Even though the decision was widely expected, there's no denying the news is still a pretty big deal. Today, the Department of Health and Human Services adopted in full the women's health recommendations issued two weeks ago by the independent Institute of Medicine.

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