When Congress passed a bill in 1997 to name the pre-World War II federal courthouse in Dublin, Georgia in honor of J. Roy Rowland, the measure said the former Congressman and longtime family physician "set the standard for standing firm on conviction and choosing honorable compromise for the good of the country." A moderate conservative, Dr. Rowland spent his career in public service fighting to resolve political and ideological differences at a time when virulent partisanship was beginning to paralyze the governmental process.
His account of the health care reform efforts initiated by President Clinton reveals in candid detail how the nation's most prominent political leaders turned the promise of historic progress into tragic failure. The downfall of health care reform back then still influences politics today. As he points out, it had a significant impact on the 2016 presidential race.
Dr. Rowland's story spans more than 90 years from his days growing up in a small Georgia town during the Great Depression, to his experiences at war, to his career as a primary care doctor and then a maverick political figure during a period of turbulent change. And his story is still ongoing. He continues to practice medicine and speak out for bipartisan solutions to critical issues, including health care reform, urging Americans to learn from the past so history won't repeat itself in current attempts to address the system's pervasive problems.
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About the Author
J. ROY ROWLAND, M.D., is an honor graduate of the Medical College of Georgia. He served as a family physician for 28 years, a member of the Georgia House of Representatives for 6 years, and a member of the U.S. House for 12 years. Following his retirement from public life, he has worked with the Georgia Medicaid system and mental health services in middle Georgia. He and his wife Luella live in Dublin, Georgia.
SELBY McCASH is a graduate of the University of Georgia. He was a political reporter and columnist for The Macon Telegraph and News and The Atlanta Journal, a commentator on Georgia Public Television, and served on two congressional staffs. He co-authored the biography of slain peace worker Tom Fox in 118 Days, a story of non-government peace work in Iraq. He and his partner Claire Cole Curcio live in Fredericksburg, Virginia.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Health care reform is just as controversial now as it was in 1993. Few of us realize just how close we came to a workable bipartisan compromise just before the collapse of the Clinton Health Plan in 1994. Dr.Rowland tells this exciting story from an insider's view. As one of the few physician Congressmen of the day, his stature rose from 1982 to 1994 and he became a leader in the reform efforts. By today's standards he is a moderate, and at that time a conservative Southern Democrat. Captivating personal details make this story understood as never before. Beginning with images of growing up in South Georgia, J.Roy Rowland paints an engaging picture of his childhood and subsequent service in World War II and his medical education before his time in family practice in Dublin. He served 6 years in the Georgia legislature before winning an improbable victory defeating an incumbent Congressman. A close personal friendship with Republican Congressman Bilirakis put them together in the alternative proposal for bipartisan health care reform. This was the time of Ronald Reagan and Bill and Hillary Clinton in the White House, the Iran-Contra debacle, the formation of policy for HIV and many other fascinating issues of the day. Spiced with humor, this book is very well-written and is one that you won't be able to put down. You won't regret diving into this story of a great American servant who put his all into the time he gave our nation.