On first glance at the title of Daniel Putkowski's book "Universal Coverage," I'd thought it was nonfiction. The realization that it's a novel came as both relieving and intriguing: Few works of nonfiction on current events rise above a tedious slog, and since the Democrats' attempted takeover of medicine is a human rights violation that must - and will - be overthrown, a fictional projection of what that evil would mean in practice promised to be timely and important. And it is.
"Universal Coverage" tells the story, set in a possible near-future, of a professional couple who are enthusiastic supporters of both an Obama-type President and an Obamacare-type government-controlled medical "system." When their son develops a life-threatening heart condition, they assume the glowing "system" they fantasized about when they entered the voting booth would give him the best of medical care. What they discover instead is a Kafkaesque bureaucratic maze staffed by indifferent yet belligerent regulation-spewing automatons, who bounce them from government office to government office like pinballs while their son's condition worsens. Think: Douglas Adams' Vogons, only dressed in office garb, or maybe just your last trip to the DMV. If you've ever had the experience of trying to shepherd a government-issued license, permit or approval of any kind through the government "process," you get the picture.
The couple's only alternative to that government-controlled nightmare is a privately-run medical facility housed on a converted cruise ship that never ventures within U.S. waters. The government considers it an "unauthorized facility," people have been conditioned via propaganda to consider it "unsafe" and outrageously expensive, and the government system's rules treat it - and any who avail themselves of its services - to be outlaws. After months of desperately running up against brick wall after brick wall, the couple begin to reevaluate everything they thought they knew about the government-run medical "system" they voted to impose.
"Universal Coverage" is not great literature; it doesn't pretend to be and doesn't need to be. It's just a cautionary tale, an essential concretization of what a future under Obamacare - or any government-run medical "system," would be like. I highly recommend it, as kind of a mental picture that's essential to have absorbed for reference - and as a quick way to get started on your 2014 "read more books" resolution.
[Amazon URL for "Universal Coverage": http://www.amazon.com/Universal-Coverage-Daniel-Putkowski/dp/0981595944/ ]