Former U.S. Rep. J. Roy Rowland, MD, (D-Georgia) endorsed Republican candidate John Stone in the race for Georgia’s 12th Congressional District, citing the need for continued House efforts to achieve bipartisan national health care reform.
Rowland, a retired Dublin physician, authored bipartisan national health care reform legislation in 1993-94 which focused on expansion of America’s community health centers and other public access facilities. Dr. Rowland represented a large portion of the current 12th District during his congressional career.
Stone was a senior congressional staff leader in pushing for the Bipartisan Patient’s Bill of Rights authored by the late U.S. Rep. Charlie Norwood, DDS (R-Georgia) and John Dingell (D-Michigan) in 1997-2001, which would have restored patient’s rights in dealing with federally-governed health insurance plans.
Dr. Rowland says Stone has invaluable first-hand knowledge of how difficult it is to pass health care reform.
“Bipartisan solutions are the only ones that can be passed into law, but the problem with them is that neither side gets a political advantage out of it,” he said. “Democratic leadership would never let my bill come to a vote, the same way Republican leadership did everything possible to block a vote on Charlie’s Patient’s Bill of Rights.”
Rowland said Stone has the first-hand experience in those fights to actually achieve significant health care reform in the next Congress.
“John fought in the trenches for years in getting Charlie’s bill to the floor where it passed with flying colors,” he said.
“If any member can build a consensus across the aisle and battle through the leadership of both political parties to improve health care, I believe John can. He has the experience, the drive, and the heart to do what’s right for patients instead of Washington special interests.”
Stone said he is deeply honored and humbled to have the endorsement of Dr. Rowland.
“Dr. Roy Rowland is not just a great former member of Congress, but a true American hero who has spent a lifetime serving his country in war and peace,” Stone said. “Dr. Rowland provided outstanding leadership in health care reform during his service in the House, and is still providing that leadership today in retirement. If elected, I will do my best to continue the legacy of Georgia leadership in national health care reform efforts.”
Stone said he has committed to renew efforts to pass a bipartisan Patient’s Bill of Rights, provide access to affordable health insurance to all Americans regardless of health status or income level, expand community health centers, and guarantee fair and transparent health care pricing nationwide.