Clara Ritger

Clara Ritger Clara Ritger is a health care reporter for National Journal. Her multimedia and written work has appeared in outlets across the country including USA Today, Philadelphia Inquirer, The Indianapolis Star and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. She graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a B.A. in political science and film, television and theatre.
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Iraq Vets in Congress Helplessly Watch Their Gains Lost

June 12, 2014 Americans are tired of war. For the 17 members of Congress who served in Iraq, that means watching helplessly as the cities they fought for fall once more to extremists. Militants believed to be associated with al-Qaida overtook Mosul, the second-largest city in Iraq, on Tuesday. The group then seized...

Should the Government Force Food-Stamp Users to Eat Better?

June 2, 2014 Food-stamp users would be much healthier if they were forbidden to spend federal dollars on soda, but subsidizing part of the cost of their fruits and vegetables would not have a significant impact on obesity and diabetes, according to a new report from Stanford University. The Stanford researchers are the...

Paper Medical Records Are Vanishing Into the Cloud

May 20, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Scores of filing cabinets containing thousands of patient medical records are disappearing into the cloud. Use of electronic health records systems in doctors' offices has doubled in recent years, according to a new report released Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2012, 72 percent of office-based...

Should the Government Slap Tobacco-Style Regulations on Fatty Foods?

May 19, 2014 If the government wants to make progress in lowering obesity rates, it needs to start regulating fatty foods much the way it does tobacco. That's the recommendation from a pair of international health organizations pushing policies it says would answer the obesity epidemic. Specifically, the groups recommend that the government...

President Obama Officially Nominates Budget Chief as Next HHS Secretary

April 11, 2014 President Obama took another health care victory lap Friday while announcing the resignation of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. Obama praised Sebelius in a Rose Garden address, as he formally nominated budget chief Sylvia Mathews Burwell to be the next HHS secretary. Sebelius led HHS through the implementation...

Does the Military Have Enough Psychiatrists?

April 10, 2014 Twelve consecutive years of war have turned soldiers into the subjects of an unintended experiment in the impact of prolonged conflict on the human psyche. And the results are still out, according to Army Surgeon General Patricia Horoho, who testified Wednesday at a congressional hearing. "I worry about the long-term...

The Psychological Toll of 12 Years of War

April 10, 2014 Twelve consecutive years of war have turned soldiers into the subjects of an unintended experiment in the impact of prolonged conflict on the human psyche. And the results are still out, according to Army Surgeon General Patricia Horoho, who testified Wednesday at a congressional hearing. "I worry about the long-term... Bugs and 16 Other Ways to Qualify for an Obamacare Extension

March 26, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The deadline to enroll in Obamacare is March 31--unless you're in the hospital. Or there's a natural disaster near you. Or you experienced basically any problem with Late Tuesday night, the Obama administration announced that it was giving some consumers more time to sign up for health insurance. While...

Obamacare Enrollment Deadline Extended for Victims

March 26, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Obama administration announced late Tuesday that consumers who say they tried to sign up for health insurance on the federal exchange before March 31 will be able to get coverage past the deadline. The new guidelines were first reported by The Washington Post, which added that consumers will have...

How Twitter Tracks the Flu

March 18, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow New research suggests Twitter—the social-media site best known for spot news and cat GIFs—can also be used to pinpoint flu outbreaks. A team of researchers at Johns Hopkins University and George Washington University found that tweets are an accurate predictor of where cases of the flu are highly concentrated. Because...

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