I wrote the following letter to President Bush after the first raid. He never replied to me. Instead, I heard from my lawyer, “You’ve communicated with the President?” I said “Yes, and how do you know about it?” He replied, “The US Attorney’s office told me.” So the President’s office sent my letter to the Justice Department who funneled it down to the Attorney charging me with a crime. You see, they all work together against us. It isn’t a case of one branch protecting our rights against the overreaches of the other 2.
October 15, 2006
Dear Mr. President:
I am a 57 year old 2nd career physician in Southwest Virginia. I am a graduate of UT Austin for my BA and UTHSCSA for my MD. In my previous career I was a teacher for 20 years, 10 of which was spent in Texas, mostly in San Antonio, where I lived with my then, Air Force husband. I came to SW Virginia to be of help to the rural underserved population. Why, then, sir, would I ever consider committing Medicare or Medicaid fraud? I am the most unfraudulent individual you could ever care to meet. I have instead, saved the government probably hundreds of thousands of dollars in my health care in the past 5 years. And yet US Attorney, John Brownlee, appointed by you, is prosecuting me.
Most of my patients are government insured. That is because no other doctor in the area will serve them. You see, sir, I treat pain. I am a family practice physician, but in my study of alternative medicine, I can validate pain that conventional doctors can’t. I can also treat it conventionally and alternatively, which is what I have been doing. The conventional treatment does nothing for the patient but maintain the pain. The alternative treatment that I have done has healed conditions that conventional medicine has no treatment for. I have taken patients that were on disability and helped them to the point that some of them now work two jobs. I have seen psoriasis covering the body be completely gone in 1 month without drugs.
Once in this country there used to be a saying “Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door.” Not so anymore. Do something different and the government (your government) charges you with fraud. If we don’t allow individual physicians to demonstrate what they can do in the alternative world, we will be stuck with an ever-increasing cost of health care with a society that continues to get sicker and sicker.
Now why was my office raided February 28th by 20 federal, state, and local drug enforcement and Health Services agents? The first reason was the fact that I treat pain. The government, run by your appointed US Attorneys, is closing down doctor’s practices all over the country for treating pain. Mr. Brownlee, in particular, has targeted SW Virginia for this action. Here he is, the son of your Undersecretary of the Army, creating fear in the hearts of every doctor for prescribing a pain pill. All over SW Virginia you will find notices in doctor’s offices “WE DON’T TREAT CHRONIC PAIN”. So what we have here is a catch 22. You are sending our young men over to a foreign land against a formidable enemy to get their legs and arms blown off, only to come back to a country that refuses to treat their pain.
Why am I writing this letter now? I consider it God’s timing, not mine. I just received in the mail today a denial by Medicare of $12,400.00 worth of claims of patient visits from May through August. The reason given for the denial was that the visits were not deemed a “medical necessity”. Included in this transmission is a copy of the Medicare EOB. Now since most of these visits were for evaluation and treatment of pain, I would like for you to hear from the patient that the visit was not medically necessary. Since I am opposed to the use of acetominophen because it clogs the liver and blocks its detoxification action, I prescribe mostly schedule 2 opiates. Due to the fiasco of the DEA since November 2004, opiates have to be prescribed every month. So why are these visits being called “not medically necessary”? I have been seeing Medicare patients for the last 6 months without being paid because I have been under review as a result of your attorney’s raid. I believe that the transmission I just received is an indication that Medicare has decided that I am not a physician they want to do business with. So I guess that means the government does not want me to save them any more money, or heal their insured. It would appear that the government wants their patients to remain sick, die early (probably thus saving money in the future with SSI), and continue to fund the hospitals, pharmaceutical industry, and insurance companies. Is that your underlying plan for the country’s health care?
Since I run an immaculate practice of pain management, the prosecutors have nothing to charge me with there. So with that as a dead end, they are turning to my alternative practice of cleansing. I have been cursed with the fact that I am usually ahead of my time. In the 1960s I fought the dress code that did not allow pantsuits on Virginia college campuses. In the 1970s I was one of the first officer’s wives in the US Air Force that worked at my own career, teaching, instead of playing bridge. And now I can see that in health care, alternative medicine is the true medicine of the future. Allopathic medicine will someday be looked back at like we look at bloodletting of the 1700’s. Did you know that conventional doctors, bleeding him for pneumonia, killed our first president? Today people are dying every day because of conventional medicine. The medicine I have learned, for which I travel to Toronto to learn from the master, Dr. Gueniot from Belgium, is the future of true health. I provided this medicine to my patients through their office visits, getting them off drugs, and saving thousands of dollars per patient in not doing expensive tests and procedures that matter “nada” in the real scheme of things. So what does the government do but charge me with fraud. Instead of being charged with fraud, I should be hired by the government to teach others what I know and save this country from severe incapacitating chronic disease. The chronic diseases are hitting younger and younger people, all because of our diet and lifestyle, in addition to the evils of conventional medicine. I just had a patient show a compression fracture of her 9th thoracic vertebra at the age of 46. Osteoporosis is going to hit younger and younger people. And just look at the rheumatoid diseases, lupus and fibromyalgia, and how they are showing up in younger and younger people. Instead of being afraid of alternative medicine, the government should be embracing the knowledge provided by doctors such as myself, as that is what can save our country from eventual health care collapse.
The next week Dublin is home to the Moving Wall—the recreation of the Vietnam Veteran’s memorial. The location is directly across from my office. How ironic that it should be here the same week that I find out that the government is refusing to pay for my services. There is an international airport in Dublin as well, that would accommodate your plane. Might I suggest that you come personally and tell the veterans that I see that they can no longer receive pain management? I invite you to come to my office and see the kind of work that I do, and the people that I serve. We’ve already suffered the elimination of Virginia Premier, the HMO for Medicaid. They told me in April that they no longer wanted my services. 300 patients were thrown to the wind to find another physician on their own. As no one treats pain here, most were unable to do so. Most didn’t want to do so. So most of them have continued to see me as private paying patients for the last 6 months. Supposedly they can change to regular Medicaid in November, but since this is the second time they have been told they can change, and then it was reneged on, I won’t hold my breath. I invite you to come to my office and explain to those patients why the government has created such a financial hardship on them.
Again, I consider the timing of this action, and this letter, the work of God. I work under the message in Isaiah 61:1-4:
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor. They will rebuild the ancient ruins and resort the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations.
I was sent to SW Virginia for a purpose. Right now my purpose is to lead the fight against pain management prosecution and for the recognition of alternative medicine as the medicine of the future. The timing of this letter, 3 weeks before elections, was not my doing. But I do believe it is newsworthy, and will be forwarding a copy to the major news media.
I wrote to you years ago when you were running for office, letting you know of the plight of rural physicians trying to make a living serving the government insured. I never heard from you then, and I don’t expect you to take my offer of a visit now. After all, it is your US Attorney that is prosecuting me, so it must be your health care program.
Linda S. Cheek, M.D., D.A.A.P.M.