On Christmas Day Amy Gardner wrote a story in the Washington Post that has not received sufficient follow-up. Today I am doing my part by putting the Cancer Treatment Centers of America on the Rated R list.
It is my sincere hope that none of my readers ever have the need to consider using the Cancer Treatment Centers of America’s services, or those of any other cancer treatment facility! My degree is in management not medicine so I am unqualified to pass judgment on the organization’s medical merits but here are a few interesting facts that may speak to the issue of credibility. In 1996 they reached a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission over allegations of “false and unsubstantiated claims in advertising”. They run slick television ads unlike facilities such as the Mayo Clinic, Roswell Park and Sloan Kettering. Their founder and Board Chairman Richard J. Stephenson helped bankroll the fight against Obamacare in fear that it would lead to single-payer health care in America. Cancer Treatment Centers of America is a for profit organization which has made Stephenson a very wealthy man.
Stephenson likes to maintain a low profile but his involvement in funding the Tea Party, radical right causes and the Republican greed machine has recently come to light thanks to Ms. Gardner. Late in the 2012 election cycle he apparently funneled about $12 million into the Freedom Works political machine to help right wing candidates. One that he specifically demanded receive funding was now former Illinois Republican/Tea Party Representative Joe Walsh. It appears his money took a little trip through two shell companies, Specialty Groups, Inc. and Kingston Pike Development, LLC via “tour guide” William S. Rose III.
The entire political world wondered why Dick Armey suddenly left Freedom Works – one of the major financiers of the Tea Party movement – until Ms. Gardner connected the dots. Armey essentially took over the organization at gunpoint until Stephenson personally bought him out with a $400,000 per year 20 year deal. $8 million is a lot of hush money!
Stephenson has past and present associations with the Koch brothers and Art Pope. He has been and still is on the Board of Directors of Freedom Works. The millions he uses to fund radical right wing groups are derived from the Cancer Treatment Centers of America.
Again, I sincerely wish nobody would ever require the services of a cancer treatment facility. However, if you do I strongly suggest that you do not choose the Cancer Treatment Centers of America. Your body may or may not be better off if you do not help “feed” Richard Stephenson, but your country certainly will be.
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