Since there is so much ado about Michael Moore's latest film Sicko that calls for socialized medicine, I think people should know about an alternate medium that demostrates the evils of socialized medicine.
While there are the Free Market Cure film shorts one can see for free on the internet, Gen LaGreca's book, Noble Vision, which was published in 2005.
The book takes place in New York City in the near future where surgeon Doctor David Lang takes a liking for ballet dancer Nicole Hudson whom he takes time out of his busy schedule to see perform so Lang can escape his stressful job and the trappings of his marriage that is on the rocks.
The ballet Lang sees Nicole perform in the book is called Triumph which is a retelling of the myths of Prometheus and Pandora. In Greek mythology, Prometheus brings fire to man in defiance of Zeus's will and for his disobedience Zeus punishes Prometheus by having him chained him to a rock in Caucasus where he is regularly attacked by an eagle.
In an effort to punish Man, Zeus also gives Pandora a golden box which, as you know, she opens and releases the evils of mankind. However, the ballet is further revised where Pandora frees Prometheus and together they drive back the evils released from the box while at the same time endure the wrath of Zeus.
In a not so subtle effort this ballet sets the tone for the book's basic plot.
Lang goes so far as to send flowers to Nicole in which he is known to her as The Phantom. Yet, as it turns out, Nicole gets seriously injured during a ballet performance and ends up losing her eye sight. Lang decides to treat her with an experimental surgery he has developed which is deemed illegal by CareFree, New York State's socialized medicine program.
In the book, La Greca points to, based on extensive research she did, the onerous rules and regulations doctors, especially surgeons, have to submit to while the system itself penalizes the honest, dedicated doctors as means of trying to control costs.
CareFree punishes doctors with heavy fines and even jail time for disobedience. To obtain treatments for patients doctors must plead with bureaucrats for approval for even the most minor of procedures. The fees are set by the state so even if a doctor performs twelve hours of surgery, CareFree will only pay for six.
It is also a novel of how humans struggle to survive under the iron grip of collectivism. LaGreca seems to draw mainly from The Fountainhead with elements of Atlas Shrugged thrown in for good measure, respectfully.
For example, David Lang reminds me more of my favorite of Ayn Rand's charaters, Hank Rearden, than Howard Roark mainly due to Lang's wife, Marie, being strikingly similar to Lillian Rearden. Marie states that she would rather David had a mistress, than for him to be that passionate about his work so that he doesn't come home at night.
Rather than love him because of his passion for his work, Marie Lang really wants to destroy David since she believes in following the rules unquestionably. For Marie Lang, and several of Noble Vision's characters, right and wrong is not determined by one's sense of life and integrity, but by rules set by others or society itself.
Furthermore, the main element in The Fountainhead that tried to damn Howard Roark was social opinion, as opposed Hank Rearden and David Lang who both end up freeing themselves from outside influences while breaking directives and laws in order to do their jobs and reassert their individuality.
I am sure if Ayn Rand were alive today she would have kind words for the book and its author.
Noble Vision also deserves to be immortalized on film too.
Yes, its that good.
If you want a look at the reality of socialized medicine and want an excellent, well-written novel that is as much a love story as it is a book on philosophy read Noble Vision and tell others you know who support socialized medicine about it.
You will be glad you did.