Wisconsin has, for the last several years, been a “showdown” between the waning quackbuster forces and the emerging, and awakening, North American Health Freedom Movement. To some, the problems in Wisconsin represent a microcosm of the whole health situation on the North American continent. To me, the study of how the quackbusters entrenched themselves in Wisconsin, brought out valuable, and usable, information on how to beat the quackbusters – everywhere.
Opinion by Consumer Advocate Tim Bolen
Recently, purely by accident, in Wisconsin, we discovered another important aspect of the suppression of cutting-edge health care – the health insurance industry. Oh, we knew the health insurance industry doesn’t want to pay for new things, but we never knew, or understood, the extent they’d go to to damage a provider of cutting-edge health care. Below, you’ll read about how we found out. You’ll also read what the health insurance people did to a health practitioner who found a way to demand payment using the US Government.
A few years ago the “quackbusters” owned health care in Wisconsin. For them, it was a Model State. Everything went their way. A simple phone call could, and did, bring the wrath of the State down on the head of any health practitioner who had the audacity to offer a health paradigm criticized by Stephen Barrett on his goofball website quackwatch.com.
But those days are over.
The North American Health Freedom Movement, one day, observed that the “quackbusters” were persecuting several cutting-edge health professionals in Wisconsin, using the current president of their front organization, the National Council Against Health Fraud (NCAHF), one Robert S. Baratz MD, DDS. PhD as the do-all, be-all, witness, advisor, mentor, etc., in this series of cases.
And, that was the quackbuster’s downfall.
For Robert S. Baratz (Bobbie) had some serious honesty, integrity, and credibility issues. In the end, Bobbie turns out to be a failure in the Medical Profession, reduced to removing hair, and piercing ears, to stay afloat financially. Bobbie has been fired from more positions than one could imagine. To me, he fits right in with the VISIBLE quackbuster leadership, for the commonality of quackbuster leadership is “failure in their profession.” Look at Stephen Barrett, or Terry Polevoy, for instance.
In Wisconsin, the trap was set. Baratz had no idea he was being set up. He was so hungry, at the time, for an income, he literally “ran off at the mouth,” pretending to be an “expert” in things he knew absolutely nothing about. And his mouth ran, and ran, and ran…
Then the trap was sprung. And the quackbusters lost, not only the case, but the whole State of Wisconsin.
Currently, not only have the two quackbuster prosecutors, James Polewski and Arthur Thexton, been seriously reined in by the Wisconsin Department of Regulation & Licensing (DRL), but the previous “victims” are meeting, discussing the appropriate ways to file formal complaints with the Wisconsin Supreme Court Office of Lawyer Regulation, DRL Management, Legislative committees, and the media regarding the “pattern of abuse” inflicted on cutting-edge health professionals in Wisconsin by Polewski, Thexton and their quackbuster co-conspirators.
The “victims,” are victims no more. They intend to get redress.
But, there was a big “Surprise.”
It turns out, during the investigation of the commonality of the quackbuster victim’s cases that there was one other important sameness. They were almost ALL turned in to DRL by a health insurance company(s) who simply didn’t want to pay for services rendered. Health Insurance companies in Wisconsin could, and did, directly bypass the DRL “screening process” set in place for citizen complaints and proceeded directly to prosecution. A handy system for the health insurance carriers to have – if they don’t want to pay claims.
But, it gets worse…
In the Stuart Suster MD case, the health insurance companies were facing serious problems with Suster. Stuart Suster was filing legitimate claims with them demanding payment for his services. When they refused, he appealed through the normal insurance appeal process. When the insurance carriers still denied payment, Suster appealed through the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), a US Department of Labor process – a different animal altogether. The war was on.
The ERISA appeals process is total anathema to the health insurance industry. It pits the US government, in the form of the Department of Labor, against them. And, the Department of Labor’s job is to insure that employees get the health services they are entitled to, regardless of whether an insurance company wants to pay, or not. Type in “ERISA” in any internet search engine, and you’ll see what I mean.
Stuart Suster has now, and has had, over THREE HUNDRED claims going through the ERISA appeals process. These claims were ongoing, and the insurance companies knew it, when they took those actions, with their direct connections to DRL, to remove Suster’s medical license, and discredit him in his community. The action on their part was, in legal terms, “a retaliation for Suster’s asserting of his legal rights.”
Arthur Thexton, the quackbuster DRL prosecutor knew about Suster’s conflict with the insurance companies, including the ERISA process, when he began the DRL actions against Suster. Thexton, with Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Ruby Jefferson Moore in tow, blocked Suster from making any facts about the real issues available in the Administrative case against Suster. Thexton and Moore refused to let Suster file a “counter-claim” making the insurance/ERISA claims/appeal, and other issues, part of the case. Moore wouldn’t let Suster cross-examine a good many witnesses, nor provide any defense in his own case.
Thexton and Moore were out to “railroad” Stuart Suster MD, on behalf of the insurance companies. Period. Their actions were, in legal terms, “a retaliation for Suster’s asserting of his legal rights.”
I was in Wisconsin for a week, and my days were full of meetings. There’s much more to come. The problem is not yet fixed in Wisconsin.
Tim Bolen – Consumer Advocate