The "Cal Streeter" Story...
Opinion by Consumer Advocate Tim Bolen
about to tell you about one of the most important cases in US
healthcare, an assault, and a turning point - the prosecution of a
Northwestern Indiana cutting-edge Doctor of Osteopathy, Wilbert C. (Cal)
Although few have ever heard of the Streeter case, it, of itself, and of
its result, make it a landmark. The case began, roughly, in 1996, as
the result of certain pressures put on the government by the nefarious
operation, and it is
still going on - but has taken an entirely different, and interesting
case is interesting to the powerful North American Health Freedom
Movement because it was THE CASE, I believe, that was supposed to
be the "model case" to be used against all "Alternative
Medicine" practitioners nationwide. But since the case pretty much
died on the vine, so to speak, the "model" was dropped, and
although the tactic was used in a few places - it wasn't continued.
probably the very first case where the credibility of the
questioned at the Federal Prosecutor level - and found wanting. The
entire case against Streeter was based upon the premises about health
care put forward by the
operation at the
Federation of States Medical Boards (FSMB) annual meeting in Chicago in
1996. There, a major program was presented. It was, supposedly, on
"Health Fraud," and how to combat it. But really, it was an attempt
to deflect the Federal government's interest AWAY from then Attorney
General Janet Reno's definition of "Health Fraud," as "Over
billing, false coding, MD kickbacks, etc," and push it towards a
different focus - "Alternative Medicine."
That plan, put forward at the Chicago FSMB meeting is called the
of '96" and although it caused some damage, in the end it failed.
I'll tell you about the actual plan, and who operated it, and where it
stands today, in a minute. I believe that the Streeter case was the
FIRST time the tactic, presented in Chicago, was used. And, there were
One of the first "victims" of the "Plan of '96" was a
large patient group in Northern Indiana, an area that included the
suburbs of Chicago, Illinois. About 10,000 patients of Cal Streeter DO
were one day suddenly deprived of the cutting-edge services of their
physician - and they've suffered for it ever since. They are still angry
about it - and have decided to do something about it - ten years later.
short - they want Cal Streeter DO back in practice, and they are getting
their way, whether those that want him out of practice like it or not.
And, they'll probably be targeting, by various means, those that caused
their loss of Streeter's services. It's going to be an interesting
But first, let's put this case into perspective with what's happening in
US health care ten years later - 2006.
The US HealthCare
System is Badly Broken...
are as lot of reasons why, in 2006, US healthcare is rated
seventy-second (72) in quality, but number one in cost, worldwide - and
it's the number one killer of Americans - ahead of heart disease and
US healthcare system is broken.
those reasons, of course, is the New York ad agency's
operation, a scam
designed to stop any, and all, innovation in health care that competes
with the "drugs, drugs, and more drugs" approach to health care -
a paradigm favored by HMOs, and organizations offering the health care
swill I call "Five
"Five Minute Medicine?"
Yes, that's what I said.
"Five Minute Medicine," these days, is the
reality of conventional health care in the US. It's where a patient has
a health problem, gets an appointment six weeks later, waits an
hour-and-a-half in the waiting room, twenty minutes in an examining room
to see a Physician's Assistant for all of FIVE Minutes, the last three
minutes of which are taken up writing three new prescriptions, so they
can go stand in line for an hour-and-a-half at the pharmacy, to shell
out their $300 co-pay.
In other words US medicine has been reduced to a reliance on drugs for
everything. And, there is a formal organization working to keep that
situation in place, without change, no matter what.
I think, that, by
itself, is driving so many Americans into the use of "Alternatives"
in health care. Americans, like the rest of the people of the world,
have the idea that health professionals are there to solve their health
problems - after all, that's what they shell out all that money every
month for - so they think. When a patient gets disenchanted with the
"Five Minute Medicine"
inevitably they'll find "Alternative Medicine," and the fact that
the "alternative" practitioners actually spend time with them;
listening to them, working out treatment plans, talking to them about
their problems, explaining things, and asking tons of questions - and in
the long and short run, actually improving the patient's health and
the reality is, that health practitioners who spend time with their
patients, and have a reputation for solving patient issues, paint a big
target on their backs. And, who targets them? The New York ad agency
years, well known "alternative" practitioners were picked off,
State by State, license by license - but the shift from
"Five Minute Medicine"
"Alternative Medicine" continued to grow by leaps and bounds - so
much so that, in a panic, certain representatives of "mainstream
medicine," came up with a plan to try to turn the tide. It was
of '96" and although it caused some damage, in the end it failed.
I'll tell you about the actual plan, and who operated it, in a minute.
Why It (The Plan of '96)
Was Formally Assembled...
The "Plan of '96" is, and was, a scam... It was designed, an
implemented, as a "disinformation campaign" for specific
reasons. "Medicine," in 1996, was faltering because of three
The FIRST thing was
reports showing that medical care in this country was so bad that
doctors and hospitals were listed as the third largest cause of
unnecessary death. Since then, they have moved to the Number one spot.
Americans have been finding out that the average MD these days, beyond
the emergency room, has little
to offer beyond the "magic
bullet," meaning the new drug pushed this week by the drug company
The SECOND thing was a 1993 report in the New England Journal of
Medicine (JAMA) that showed the huge financial impact of "Alternative
Medicine" on the US health care dollar. It was, and is, cutting
into "Drug" profits.
The THIRD was the Clinton Administration's identification of
fraud" as a major
cause of health care's rising costs - and the announcement of Attorney
General Janet Reno's plans to deal with that issue STRONGLY.
HOW THE SCAM WORKS...
In 1996, the New York ad agency's
their attack. It was a four part disinformation Public Relations
campaign designed to kill two birds with one stone. They wanted Janet
Reno (and the American public) off their backs, and they wanted to get
rid of their upstart competitor "Alternative Medicine." So they
came up with a simple plan - re-define the term "Health Fraud."
The intent was to re-define the word AWAY from Janet Reno's
definition of "Over billing, false coding, MD kickbacks, etc," to
a different focus - "Alternative Medicine." They put
the plan into effect.
PART ONE of the plan was the "definition switch,"
Janet Reno, in her
original plan to combat "Health Fraud," had expected cooperation
from the State Medical Boards. She expected the Boards to prosecute billing
cheaters. She NEVER got that cooperation. In Chicago in 1996, at
the Federation of States Medical Boards (FSMB) annual meeting, a major
program was presented. It was, supposedly, on "Health Fraud,"
and how to combat it. Conspicuously, there were no speakers from
Janet Reno's team. If any of Janet Reno's people thought this was
going to help the Federal program - they were wrong.
The Feds that were attending must have been in shock, upon seeing the
presentation. Only once in the
program was the Fed's definition of "Health Fraud" ever mentioned
- it was by FTC's Matt Daynard who made it clear that their (the FTC's)
concerns were MUCH broader than theirs. Other than an apparently
confused Daynard, no where in the program was there a discussion
of how to prosecute doctors who "over-billed, false coded, took
kickbacks, etc." All they talked about was "Alternative
Medicine," and how to prosecute it - calling it "Health Fraud."
From that moment on, with the exception of the Streeter case - While
Feds prosecuted sleazy hospitals, greedy MDs, clinics, ambulance
operators, home suppliers, etc., State Medical Boards were to target two
categories (a) solo practitioner MDs that recommended supplements,
exercise, etc., instead of prescription drugs, and (2) unlicensed
competitors to the drug/surgery dollars, i.e.; Naturopaths, Homeopaths,
Nutritionists, Health food Stores, Massage Therapists, etc..
And the war began in earnest. For, even then the North American
Health Freedom Movement, although not organized, had muscle.
Hundreds of fights across the nation, ensued.
PART TWO of the plan was to affect Federal Agencies - and try to
redirect those agency's efforts away from the Justice Department's
program, and convince them to focus their energies on "Alternative
medicine" proponents. They did this with a four-part
sub-plan. (a) They invited FTC and FDA lower level employees to their
meetings for the express purpose of propagandizing, and kissing-up to
them. (b). They created a system of "meetings" where they had
access to those Federal employees on a regular basis - for the purpose
of propagandizing them (c) They used their contacts within those
Federal agencies to gain unwarranted credibility for their own plans,
and anti-alternative medicine programs.
(d) They got the US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to
give them official government credibility.
was duped into giving the quackbusters unwarranted credibility. for a
long time if you typed in the key words "health fraud" on a
government website, up popped the National Council Against Health
Fraud's website, and quackwatch.com. That has since been stopped, after
complaints were filed.
PART THREE of the plan, was a propaganda gambit. It was in two
parts (a) create a so-called "information base." Websites appeared,
sounding authoritative, like Stephen Barrett's sleazy
and others. The questionable organization, the National Council Against
Health Fraud (NCAHF), was to provide so-called "expert witnesses"
for testimony. The FSMB was to act as a clearinghouse, both for names
of people suggested for prosecution (persecution), and for where to find
"information" and "expert witnesses." And more...
The second part (3b) , and equally important was to demonize, and
criminalize, all aspects of "alternatives" through false
suggestions, or claims, against them. For instance; The claim that
herbals are "untested" and not "standardized" is simply a
ploy to make herbals look bad. Herbals do not need to be "tested,"
nor "standardized." Herbals are more like wine - since they
are a natural product, dependant upon natural factors like weather, no
two batches are going to be the same. Herbals, being part of nature
(part of earth's life cycle) have been field tested since the beginning
of time. The "testing" process we the people put in place is for
new "drugs," not herbals - those things, unlike herbals, that
have NEVER been introduced into the human body before. Generally
speaking, drugs are HUGELY DANGEROUS - hence the warnings of side
PART FOUR of the plan was to create a relationship with Medicare,
and the health Insurance Industry, to supposedly, advise them of
"health fraud." It incorporated, in a sub-plan parts One, Two,
and Three, above.
happened to Cal Streeter?
That's an easy question to answer. He was punished for being
"Alternative." In 1996, he was raided, had his patient and practice
records seized en-masse. Then he was followed continuously, and
finally, in 2002, six years later, he was arrested in front of his
patients and staff on a whole list of bogus charges never taken to
Court. Those original patient records seized have NEVER been returned.
In essence, with the outright seizure of his records, his practice was
shut down without "due process." The intent was, clearly and
obviously, to put him our of business, and stop his "alternative
Probably the biggest reason that Cal Streeter was selected was that he
was, primarily, treating Cancer patients with "alternative methods."
One of the important components of "Alternative" treatments
for Cancer is the revitalizing the body's immune system, and that's
exactly what Streeter was doing to his patients.
In the end, all of the charges, but one, were dropped against
Streeter, and he made an agreement to plead guilty to that charge. That
charge "money laundering" had to do with buying supplies for cash
in Mexico. Streeter served some time in jail, and when he got out, went
back to his practice only to find that the State of Indiana was refusing
to renew his license. Streeter sued, and the Courts forced the State to
restore his license. But then, the State appealed the decision - and
the war is still on.
The war in Indiana parallels the same battle being fought nationwide.
On one side are those that viciously protect the
"drugs, drugs, and more
drugs" approach to health care - the health care swill I call "Five
- The system responsible for the US ranking seventy-second (72) in
quality, but number one in cost, worldwide - and it's the number one
killer of Americans - ahead of heart disease and cancer.
other side are those fighting for change in the paradigm. The Indiana
group is taking a very aggressive approach. I'll keep you posted.
Streeter is one of the featured Speakers at the
Health Freedom Expo
Convention in Chicago this coming June 9th, 10th and 11th, 2006.