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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Groups Gather to Define Medical Ethics in Wake of Military Torture

December 2, 2013 For more than a decade, a group of medical professors has sought to stop the mistreatment of Guantanamo Bay detainees, which they said violated medical practice and ethics. The group—along with many others that have formed after torture and hunger strikes at Guantanamo became public knowledge—has unsuccessfully tried to get...

Emails Reveal Worries About Bad Press for Obamacare Website

November 21, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow New emails released by the House Overisight and Government Reform Committee show that top officials involved in the rollout of were concerned about the website not being ready, and that the error message would garner bad press. "I am picturing in my mind all the major print and online...

A Closer Look at's Still-Unbuilt 30 Percent

November 21, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow There are three systems not yet built for the Obamacare website which are all related to how the government pays insurance companies: financial management, monthly enrollment reconciliation, and risk adjustment. These three back-end systems make up the 30 percent of left to last as the government focuses on fixing...

Bipartisan Agreement That Obamacare Warrants IT Reform

November 13, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow In his 20-minute opening remarks, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., said the botched rollout calls for legislative action to ensure the government can successfully implement large-scale technology projects. "This is part of a pattern that occurs due to failure to adhere to the private...

Early Reports Indicate Low Obamacare Enrollment

November 11, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Two reports released Monday indicate that the Obamacare enrollment totals are far below White House estimates. The Wall Street Journal reports that fewer than 50,000 people successfully enrolled in Affordable Care Act coverage on as of last week. And an analysis from Avalere Health--a Washington-based, health care consulting company--finds...

Indiana Officials Don't Trust Feds to Get Obamacare Site Working

November 11, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Indiana has extended coverage for the state's high-risk pool through Jan. 31, 2014, because of concern that will prevent Hoosiers with advanced medical conditions from signing up for health insurance by Jan. 1. Roughly 6,800 individuals are covered by the Indiana Comprehensive Health Insurance Association, the state pool for...

How Mobile Apps Could Transform Rural Health Care

November 11, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow When it comes to rural health care, broadband is a matter of life or death. Rural residents seek services from primary care doctors and emergency rooms, which works if the patient doesn't have a chronic or life-threatening condition. But when they do, rural patients don't always have access to the...

Spanish Obamacare Website Will Accept Enrollments by End of the Month

November 7, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Spanish-language federal health insurance exchange website will accept applications for health insurance by the end of the month, according to a spokesperson at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. "Consumers who would like to enroll in health insurance in Spanish today are encouraged to use the Spanish-language enrollment...

CIO Working on Obamacare Website Steps Down

November 6, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services—the Health and Human Services agency responsible for the implementation of the federal Obamacare exchange—is shaking up its management. CMS's chief information officer, Tony Trenkle, will move to the private sector effective Nov. 15, according to an email sent to agency employees. Trenkle oversaw...

Sebelius: Delaying Obamacare Website 'Not an Option'

November 6, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius testified Wednesday at a Senate Finance Committee hearing that delaying was "not an option." "Delaying the Affordable Care Act wouldn't delay people's cancer or diabetes or Parkinson's, it wouldn't delay the need for mental health services or cholesterol screenings or prenatal care,"...

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