Called the "1984" Novel of Our Era, New Book Shines Harsh Light on Future of American Health Care

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With the Health Care Debate Raging in Washington, Author Daniel Putkowski Marries Political Savvy With Business Acumen in His Chilling Novel, Universal Coverage. Only Time Will Tell If Today's Fiction Becomes Tomorrow's Reality.

This month fans of political literature will find an addition to the battle of ideas in Daniel Putkowski's new novel, Universal Coverage (Hawser Press, Dec 15). While news of health care reform blankets today's media, Putkowski's latest book encapsulates all the anger, confusion, and bureaucracy into a compelling and accessible tale. The author explains, "In early 2008, I began outlining a story of a young boy with a heart condition who becomes caught up in a nationalized health care system similar to that in Canada and the UK — only my character is American and the nationalized system is in the United States. What would that look like, I wondered. How would people move through such a system if it existed in the States? Would the care be better or worse than what we see today? Little did I know then of the impending health care showdown that's playing out in Washington right now."

Indeed, Putkowski's timing appears impeccable as senators are ending the year by adding amendments to a bill that could very well make the author's creative vision a reality. The advance buzz in conservative circles has compared Putkowski's latest to works by George Orwell and Ayn Rand, a humbling experience for the writer. "When the reviews first came in I was taken aback. It's thrilling to have something you wrote mentioned in the same sentence with 1984, Animal Farm, and Atlas Shrugged by the likes of former Speaker Newt Gingrich and others."

In addition to political pundits, Putkowski's book has also hit home with medical professionals. Mount Sinai's Dr. Cynara Coomer, a Fox News Medical Contributor, called the novel, "A terrifying look into our future … a must read for anyone thinking that more government involvement in our health care means equal access and better quality of care for all." Dr. Jane M. Orient, author of Your Doctor Is Not In, agrees, "Universal Coverage is an engaging but maddening read, because we see it coming true before our eyes." This year politics and health care seemed inseparable, something confirmed by Dr. C.H. McGowen, Chief Medical Advisor, American Policy Roundtable, who stresses that, "Putkowski's Universal Coverage is a must read for all voting Americans prior to the 2010 elections."

As other writers tackle the subject of health care reform with non-fiction, Putkowski says he prefers fiction because, "it's a place where you can work things out and no one gets hurt." But will Washington heed his advice and look deeper into the ramifications of expanded government control over health care? James Peron, President, Laissez Faire Books, is doubtful, "Putkowski doesn’t portray a world as it ought to be, but how it may well be. Today’s novel could be tomorrow’s journalism and that is terrifying to consider."

An entrepreneur and frequent traveler to countries with nationalized health care systems, Putkowski remains optimistic about America's future. "Despite the barriers my characters face in Universal Coverage, I wanted to include a solution, something to give people hope. I'm confident that no matter what kind of bill eventually crosses the President's desk, as Americans we'll use our spirit and ingenuity to find a solution." Universal Coverage is Putkowski's third novel and is available wherever books are sold, including You can learn more about the author at

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Avery Griffin
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