Quackbusters - The Insurance Connection




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Wisconsin is the "Test Case..."

Opinion by Consumer Advocate Tim Bolen

March 7th, 2004

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.

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...

The 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 Ssuter 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.

Stay tuned...

Tim Bolen - Consumer Advocate

This "Millions of Health Freedom Fighters - Newsletter" is about the battle between "Health and Medicine" on Planet Earth. Tim Bolen is an op/ed writer with extensive knowledge of the activities of a subversive organization calling itself the "quackbusters," and that organization's attempts to suppress, and discredit, any, and all health modalities that compete with the allopathic (MD) paradigm for consumer health dollars. The focus of the newsletter is on the ongoing activities, battles, politics, and the victories won by members of the "Health Freedom Movement" against the "quackbusters" It details "who the quackbusters are, what they are, where they are operating, when they appear, and how they operate - and how easy it is to beat them..."

For background information on the "Battle between Health and Medicine" go to: http://www.savedrclark.net/by_whom2.htm. A copy of THIS newsletter, and older ones, are viewable at the website http://quackpotwatch.org/index.html.

For EVEN MORE interesting and related articles go to http://bolenreport.com/.


Homeopaths Now "Own" the Quackbusters...

Thursday April 28, 2005

Opinion by Consumer Advocate Tim Bolen

A few years ago a couple of quackpots strutted into a courtroom (or two) in Los Angeles, California fully intending to "end, for all time, alternative health practices"  in California, by using California's Business & Professions Code section 17200 (fraud in advertising).

Over forty cutting edge supplement companies were brutally sued by the Braintree, Massachusetts based National Council Against Health Fraud (NCAHF) who, in court documents, made some of the weirdest, and most wild-eyed, legal claims, possibly ever heard in the California Court System.

In the first case that came to court, the NCAHF v. King Bio case,  the quackbusters pulled out all the stops, and brought in their two TOP people, Stephen Barrett and Wallace Sampson, to testify, hoping, I suppose, to set the stage for the other defendants to cave in, get out their checkbooks, and write big-denomination numbers to get the quackbusters off their backs.

Yep, the quackbusters, I believe, saw that lawsuit series as the way to refill their dwindling coffers, get themselves some real money in "expert witness" fees, and hammer AltMed in a big way....

Well, as you may remember, it didn't work out quite like they hoped.  Barrett, Sampson and the NCAHF limped out of the courtroom, having suffered everything a Judge can give, short of a fist-in-the-mouth.  The quackbusters were humiliated that day, big time, and I was right there to write about it.

Of course, the NCAHF filed an appeal.  Humiliation doesn't sit well with them, I think (insert laughter here).. 

Even better, was the wording in the three Judge Appeals Court decision which said that, among a laundry list of criticisms, Barrett and Sampson were "biased, and unworthy of credibility..."  The Appeals court decision was so anti-quackbuster in its viewpoint it looked like I, Tim Bolen, wrote it for them...

Not learning their lesson, the NCAHF sued a second group of Homeopathic manufacturers - and this case not only caused more humiliation for the quackpots, but he Court did one additional thing... The Courts awarded attorney fees to the Defendant homeopathic companies so brutally, and unjustly attacked by the NCAHF. 

This is where the story gets REALLY interesting, for the NCAHF is so poor its Corporate Office is in a cardboard box in the back room of its current president (Bobbie Baratz)'s hair removal and ear piercing salon in Braintree, Massachusetts.

There were two interesting points, and legal arguments, about the attorney fee situation.  The courts had to decide, basically, how much the NCAHF owed the Homeopaths.  The quackbusters, in a shrieking panic, appealed the Court's attorney fee award.  The quackbuster's usual lack of doing competent research into something had, this time, caught up with them.  They now owe the Homeopaths a BIG chunk of money.

The Court awarded attorney fees in the amount of $100,000.00...

Well, Now...

How, exactly do you think the NCAHF cardboard box operation is going to come up with a hundred grand, considering their fund-raising efforts are so pathetic they offered an out-of-focus picture of me, Tim Bolen, as an inducement to contribution, not so long ago.

Go ahead and belly-laugh, right here, at their expense.  They deserve it.

What, considering the NCAHF's lack of financial solidity, can the Homeopaths do to recover their legal expenses awarded them by the Courts?  A lot...

My recommendation is that they do three things (1) pursue the individual NCAHF Board members for the money, (2) pursue the attorney the NCAHF used for the money, and (3)  TAKE the NCAHF away from the quackbusters, and put it on the auction block. (4)  A combination of the first three.

Right this minute, I'll bid $500, cold cash, for the rights to the NCAHF.  Can you imagine what fun I'd have with their corporate papers, their membership lists, and their financial contribution records?

There is Justice in the world...

Tim Bolen




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