Democrats’ week of grandstanding: Enabling school truancy, advocating for Viagra for bush rats

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It was a week in which Alaska Democrats in Juneau were in an unserious mood, but it was a week to remember in Juneau, as its main feature was foot-stomping.

Several Democrat House of Representative members helped facilitate and encourage truancy on Thursday, encouraging dozens of local high school students to skip school and march to the Alaska Capitol, where they would shout, chant, bang on doors, and even surrounded one female legislator, blocking her from being able to leave a committee room for 40 minutes.

Some of the legislators had even skipped their own committee meetings across town to Juneau-Douglas High School to march with the students to the Capitol, where they noisily advocated for an increase to the permanent formula for funding school districts.

The takeover of the Capitol was “what democracy looks like,” said House Minority Leader Cal Schrage, as students crowded into committee rooms and halls, making them impassible and setting up a safety hazard.

The House ended the week on an even stranger note on the House floor: Viagra for bush rats for the purpose of masturbation.

During debate over Senate Bill 45, establishing “direct care practice” health care services, several amendments were made on the House floor to dramatically alter health care in Alaska by forcing doctors to do things they might not want to do.

Rep. Andrew Gray tried to get his colleagues to vote for the establishment of a single-payer health care system in Alaska, which would socialize medicine.

He gave a passionate floor speech, in which he excoriated the medical care system, insurance companies, and doctors themselves, as he called for the socialized model. Then he went after Republicans, and had to be stopped short with a point of order. And then another point of order. And a third one. He was out of control.

“Republican policies got us into this mess and I would like Republican policies to get us out,” Rep. Gray said. He wants all doctors to accept any and all patients, and be paid by the state. Doctors could not reject any patients in what would be essentially universal Medicaid in Alaska. “We need to blow up the Alaska health care system,” Gray said, using incendiary language. “What do we have to lose?”

For doctors, it would be a loss of freedom, having state bureaucrats tell them that they must do all kinds of things they might not want to do, making them de facto employees at the will of the government.

Gray said his amendment would cost the State of Alaska about $7 billion a year, but there was no researched fiscal note attached to amendment #15, which consisted of just seven words. Ultimately, the amendment was ruled out of order.

Amendment 16 was offered by Rep. Jennie Armstrong, who was, as she is known to do, inserting sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression (LGBTQ) language into the bill, forcing doctors to treat patients even if the doctors don’t feel qualified. The amendment could expose the doctors to legal peril if, for example, they chose not to prescribe hormones to teens for gender transitions.

That gave Gray another chance to grandstand. He talked about his own experience as a physician’s assistant and told a story about working in a clinic:

“We had older, single men who lived in remote Alaska and out in the middle of nowhere by themselves … She [a doctor] refused to prescribe Viagra to those patients because she believed that they might use it for masturbation.”

Gray said that he would then prescribe the medication if he felt it was medically suitable, supplanting his own judgment as a physician’s assistant over a doctor’s medical judgment.

SB 45 allows patients and doctors or health care providers to have direct-compensation relationships outside of insurance intermediaries. Typically, the direct care practice operates on patient membership fees and does not rely on insurance reimbursements. A direct health care agreement is a contract between a patient and doctor that involves a flat, monthly fee in exchange for routine visits and other services. These are sometimes called “concierge doctors” and the doctors often cater to those who are not in government-sponsored health care plans, but who have the money to pay for the membership fees.

As the government has made medical care more complicated, less accessible, and more expensive throughout the country, some doctors are choosing to provide these membership plans as a way to decrease their own stress level and increase their ability to care for people without an insurance company telling them what they can and cannot do. In America today, it’s often the insurance companies that actually make the decision about the level of care a person can receive; the same holds true for those on Medicaid, Obamacare, or Medicare — the government calls the tune on care.

Democrats in the House had tried amendments that would have upended the bill entirely, forcing doctors to see a mandatory percentage of patients who are on Medicaid and Medicare.

The bill is scheduled for the House floor once more on April 8 for a vote on final passage — without the Viagra clause.

65 COMMENTS

  1. We are already getting a (bad) taste of socialized medicine and no thank you. Senator Grey thinks government bureaucrats know health care needs better than medical professionals. I can assure you he would keep his cushy Cadillac healthcare plan. We need to get rid of RCV so we can get rid of such idiocy.

    • RCV didn’t do this. Repubs and Dems did.
      How many stupid issues of Dunleavy have you had to defended?
      How did Bronson’s snow removal go?
      Remember when Sen Sullivan voted for the Biden inflation act or when he sided against parental rights?
      RCV would allow you, you personally, a opportunity to fix this crap if you had conviction and courage.
      Instead you want a return to the old system which disenfranchises nearly 60% of us unaffiliated and 3rd party voters who have to put up with your uniparty gatekeeper selections. And frankly Ms Henry, they suck. We got repubocrats & dempublicans.
      RVC and the open primary could make Alaska better but it takes courage.

      • You disenfranchise yourself here! If you can’t pick a horse for the ride, then don’t complain if you have to walk.
        Why reward mealy mouthed and wishy-washy with RCV? IF there are 60% of you then there should be enough support for a third party candidate run, go pick one and start your own party. Instead we get this 54 candidate open primary and strategic withdrawals in the general. RCV does NOT require courage, assessing your values and joining a party does!

      • You’ve never been disenfranchised except in your own minds.

        Failure to put forward a political agenda which appeals outside of narrow ideological groups isn’t disenfranchisement. It’s the voters saying clearly they don’t like what you’re selling.

        RCV gives you a punchers chance. But even rare wins are usually corrected in the next election.

      • Bronson’s snow removal was pretty damn good considering we set several snowfall records. Or did you not take that into account?

      • All time record snow year. What exactly did you expect? What exactly is wrong with you?? Go get some sugar cookies and sit in the sun for a while??

    • “Senator Grey thinks government bureaucrats know health care needs better than medical professionals.”

      It follows that you think abortion should be legal and a decision left to family and medical professionals. True?

  2. Kids being used as useful idiots to keep the graft and corruption of public skools going. The performance of skools are inversely proportional to their funding; the higher the funding the lower the performance.

  3. So this student invasion of the State House seems to be training for the type of action taken in Washington, DC.

  4. Oh Lord. These people with their utopian visions for a heavy centralized state, with the state “guaranteeing” equal outcomes for all (read impoverished and miserable). Their sneering condescension combined with little ability to foresee unintended consequences for their utopian visions, and a repulsive quest for power above all else, is difficult for an increasing number of voters to stomach.

  5. This is exactly what we/you get when crybaby, foot-stomping “I can’t get my way” Democrats are elected and put into positions of authority. There hasn’t been civil discourse for quite a while and this article just goes to show us how dysfunctional our “lawmakers” are. This isn’t how democracy works.

    No, we don’t need to fully fund the SBA as we’ve been throwing good money into that pit for 40+ years hoping it’d get better and it hasn’t.

    No, we don’t need a single-payer state run healthcare system.

    Why is it that Democrats just try and try, year after year to completely take whats left of the PFD and get an income tax law passed? This is a rhetorical question for those on the short bus.

    • I would argue this is exactly how democracy works. Mob voting and intimidation

      It’s a classic example of why the Founders established a Republic. They recognized “democracy” for what it is.

      • Even though we were given a constitutional republic, it nevertheless contains features of a democracy. That is, it is possible for any elected official, from president down to local school board, to be elected by 1 vote more than an opposing candidate; the majority over-rules the minority in elections. The same can be said of initiative petitions and bond propositions that can encumber your home or cost you sales taxes, etc, etc, etc.

        • Wayne, We have a Constitutional Republic which tempers the will of the mob and protects the rights of the individual. This is because of our beautiful Constitution, which expressly limits the power of the Federal Government. Trouble arises however when weak men fail to defend the Constitution, failure to do so has led to a severe loss of American individual liberties and has weakened our society in general.

          Edmund Burke once noted ,”Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little” . Accordingly, what will keep and preserve this great Republic is for every freedom loving individual to do what they can do, and VOTING is the easiest way to start.

          • I agree with your points Robert. My comment above was only pointing out that, even in our republic, we must tolerate certain democratic features… particularly in the voting process. As to your points, we must diligently assure the democratic features remain de minimus relative to the constitutionally republican features you describe.

    • That Rep Gray wanted a law to provide viagra for bush rats shows he understands how to use bombast to scream his point – the man’s position is entirely untenable, stupid even. BTW, his viagra illustration is entirely falsehood – viagra prevents male orgasm… but it will get you up. That stuff is only suitable for old guys trying to take care of young women… I believe Gray succeeded in getting everyone’s attention.
      Much as I despise even the idea of socialized health care, recent personal experiences with the business end of it leads me to think some kind of reform is needed… No bureaucracy will ever be able to do as well as what we have, even as predatory as the industry is now.

  6. “The takeover of the Capitol was “what democracy looks like,” said House Minority Leader Cal Schrage…”
    Democracy is MOB RULE…thank God we live in a Constitutional Republic, not a democracy!
    Now we need elected Representatives to remember their oath to follow Alaska State Constitution and represent all Alaskans, not just the whiny criminals invading the capital building.

  7. The dream of socialized medicine generally turns into a nightmare.
    Want your doctor to be selected based on you address, instead of who you like best, or is best suited to treat your condition? Go socialized. (No different than the public school system) No… sorry, under socialized medicine you go to the clinic serving your area, not the one that is best able to treat you.
    Added bonus, some bureaucrat in Juneau will determine what treatment is right, not your doctor.
    .
    Are there issues in the current medical system? Yep. Leftists, being the toddlers they actually are, will tear it down and replace it with the shiny thing. Then blame everyone else when it is not an improvement.

  8. This is among the single most embarrassing things to ever come out of the Alaska legislature. It borders on criminal. Grey seems to think that since he is out of the closet and talks incessantly, at high volume, about being a gay man and having a husband, that he can do and say anything. He literally screams at the other representatives and the public every time he talks. His ideas on socialialilzed health care are almost communisit – especially coming from a PA who survives on the competitive market in Alaska. I would not recommend his practice to my worst enemy. His dumbassery is eclipsed only by the whining and foot stomping of Kalvin Scrage who is among the worst leadership i have ever seen in either the legislature ever. It is telling that the viagra caucus elected him as their leader.

  9. In the past, Representative Andrew Gray would be described as “emotionally disturbed”. Today, his behavior is normalized, accepted and even encouraged.

    • JMARK,
      Representative Gray does seem to be a bit off but despite that fact he does swerve into something here. Gray calls for socialized medicine, only he wants the expensive brand of that. I note that we are already medicating via our public water systems. It’s called Flouride. Let’s begin adding Silendifil, ( Viagra) along with the Flouride. The benefits from adding Viagra would be immediately felt, and I’m thinking it would clear up this gender identity problem for many.

  10. Only in the Alaska of 2024! The people that Alaskans send to Juneau. A Nancy-fellow claims to be worried that a man without nearby females might run short of Viagra, and Democrats want to take over all private sector health care to make sure the man has females? Maybe I am missing some of the moving parts. I play “Squaws along the Yukon” with a dropped D tuning.

  11. Other than trying to tax us and steal the whole PF, when have the Democrats ever been serious? Or most Republicans for that matter.

  12. I read papers from all over the world and the British papers are full of stories of the horror of socialized medicine.

  13. Rep. McCabe alluded to the fact the other day that union members already have this incredible option? ALL Alaskans should have the option to this benefit. There’s a story there, just not sure what it is. This bill will cover Alaskans who are too “rich” for medicaid and too poor to have expensive plans = the working class. Call your legislators and tell them to vote yes on this bill. I did! Finally, a good bill for Alaskans! As for Schrage, Gray and the rest of them. What a gross display. Almost as bad as walking off the floor and hiding so the House can’t get any business done. The tantrums continue. Alaska is watching.

  14. Most veterans will tell you that the VA healthcare system leaves VERY much to be desired! They don’t pay well at all, so they don’t attract quality doctors. It takes MONTHS to get an authorization to be seen in community care, by which time the problem is usually much worse. This is what socialized medicine is.

  15. Oh only $7,000,000,000.00 for single payer government run healthcare, why didn’t you say so earlier? The FY2024 and FY2025 opersting budgets for the ENTIRE state of Alaska are about $5,000,000,000.00 that would be $2,000,000,000.00 less than just this proposed single payer government run healthcare cost per year. We have trouble paying the bills now, how does anyone convince themselves that we can afford something so expensive…and that’s before we even start the conversation about how single payer government run healthcare across the world is a pisspoor way to run a healthcare system.

    • In what way? Climing through broken windows? Chanting death wishes like those directed at Mike Pence? I hope that no one was sent to the hospital and that the aftermath didn’t take days to clean up.

  16. When you vote for a Democrat, you are voting for someone with the reasoning ability of a child.

  17. It’s perfectly all right for democrats to incite civil disobedience with minors to support their issues. But it’s insurrections when conservatives are exercising their right to protest. Republicans are not any utopia in resolving issues, but democrats are usually the cause of the problems. Stop voting for democrats!

  18. For the record, my amendment to establish single payer health care was multiple pages, not “seven words.” Don’t trust what you read, folks. Get the facts.

    Fact: Alaska has the highest health care costs in the United States.

    Fact: Alaska’s health care outcomes are some of the worst in the country.

    Fact: when you are paying more than everybody else and getting less, you’re in a bad business model.

    • Fact: life is expensive here.
      Fact: the legislature meddles into everything.
      Fact: one of the reasons we get bad outcomes is because we are remote and the best people don’t want to come here -plus follow up treatment in much of our state is difficult.

      Fact: you’re letting facts get in the way of your agenda.

      Supposition: you’re annoyed you’ve been called out by a media source not in your pocket.

      Fact: you can rebut here if you want, but you have chosen not to.

      Query: why not? Are you afraid of an audience who will not just accept your statements at face value.

      Fact: every damn thing the government gets involved in gets astronomically worse. Every damn thing.

      Fact: single payer is ineffective, inefficient, and only benefits the bureaucracy it creates.

      Fact: it’s not a good idea to challenge this group to do the research. We often do, and it usually ends up anywhere from badly to inconvenient for the left of the aisle.

      Floors yours? Wanna dance?

      If you wanna dance, let’s dance. Bring your arguments to the table and air them out.

    • Just for giggles, I read your amendment. I grant you on the surface it 2 1/2 pages. More than 7 words, but certainly not multiple pages.

      So there’s that.

      A quick review shows it to be a the creation of a new bureaucracy designed to seize control of patents and doctors healthcare and have the state regulate it.

      It doesn’t address costs. It doesn’t address appeals. It doesn’t address patient responsibility. It violates patient privacy by introducing a new party into the mix.

      If offers no guidelines for who should sit in the health care star chamber. It doesn’t address the near worldwide failures of nationalized healthcare.

      I could go on, but the point is made.

      Your amendment is nothing more than an attempt to seize control of a major portion of the economy simply because you want to. You want the power to affect people’s lives at the most fundamental level, because…
      you just wanna.

      Thing is, if you could just be patient as Alaska continues to lurch left you probably could win this as an up/down vote in 10-15 years. But as usual with democrats, you don’t trust the people you allegedly represent to let them decide for themselves.

      • As a matter of fact, take all of your listed facts and apply them to our state education system

    • Representative Andrew Gray,

      $7,000,000,000.00 seriously? You should know by now what the operating budget is for the entire state, even if you somehow manage to think a single payer system is good (which it’s not), where do you think that $7,000,000,000.00 is going to appear from?

      • Steve-O there is the permanent fund they are all lusting after. See this is not only an attempt to make government the ultimate arbiter of life and death and anything in between, it counts on getting you roped in and then you will be forced to vote for the release of the corpus down the road!
        Then when that is gone, you get taxed to the hilt under the threat of cutting your health care and rationing…

    • Rep. Gray, your amendment to replace our entire health care structure with a new bureaucracy is unacceptable, not only because of the insane price tag, but also because it will turn the premise of our republic on its head. Government will dictate all at the most basic level.

      You lament poor outcomes and high costs of health care in this state. In my opinion much of that is self-inflicted.
      Taking the $7 billion you want to spend EVERY year, how many roads, bridges and other infrastructure could we build with that?
      When you are in the middle of nowhere, outcomes are questionable when minutes count not hours or days. (King Cove/Cold Bay anyone). Improved infrastructure would greatly contribute to better outcomes and bring facilities of higher levels closer to patients. It would also contribute positively to attract more medical personnel to the state.
      When a simple doctor’s appointment requires air line reservations and hotels plus a considerable number of nurses, bureaucrats and others to approve and put it together, health care gets expensive very fast.
      The there is the 80/20 rule and the certificate of needs commission. In my opinion the commission in the past inhibited the building of free standing ERs and other clinics and contributes to the higher cost of care in this state.
      When you have to transport patients to Seattle or points south because we do not have facilities in this state to care for them, health care becomes more costly and follow-up appointments difficult. Then there is the strain it puts on family having to travel and make a choice whether to be with their loved one or stay home and work/ care for children etc.

  19. It’s appalling that Democrats not only set up and encouraged a day of spoiled brat school children taking over the capital and throwing tantrums, but after the fact, these same Democrats are all patting themselves on the back and congratulating themselves for that.

    Gray is an absolute moron if he believes that further socializing medicine will cure the ills of our medical system.
    Do these people not read?? The world is awash with examples of the horror stories of what happens when countries go down the socialized medicine rathole.

    Democrats also have weird ideas about what I should pay for.
    If men in the bush, or anywhere for that matter, are bored and want Viagra so that they can pleasure themselves, then fine, sell the viagra to them, but why on earth should I pay for it for them??

    • The takeover of the Capitol was “what democracy looks like”

      I thought we were told that’s what “insurrection” looks like. 🤔

  20. Fact: Alaska has close to the highest education costs in the US.

    Fact: Alaska education outcomes are THE worst in the country.

    Fact: When you are paying more than everybody else and getting less, you’re in a bad business model.

    Exactly.

  21. This is where the liberal indoctrination begins, in school then on into college, by the time they are done they are full blown pyscho liberal Democrats.

  22. Bill in no way did these kids Vote in our Legislature It isn’t their elected representatives ! It’s those of the age of majority, I bet they don’t approve your & other legislators using them as proxies for your failures to represent all the other electorate. Shame on You’ll

  23. I’ll just ask the one essential question – where is the money coming from? All of these expenses are going to require more money than Alaska has even in the pipeline. Democrats, please use good business sense and stay within the budget so Alaskans don’t have more taxes to add to their already high cost of living.

  24. Either way this year is going to get ugly. I’m expecting lots of blood shed. Apparently every 75 years we need a world war to prune a big bunch of the population. All I see anymore is ungrateful, intolerant, and entitled people that think they deserve for free what we have in America. Has anyone else noticed all the people from foreign countries trying to get here risking their lives??? All to get what Americans are trying to throw away. We are not perfect but we have it better than every other country. There is no question about that..

  25. This is not a particularly informative article. While there is much discussion about absurd amendments to SB 45 offered by certain members, did any of them pass? What is the content of the final bill?

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