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Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Palin’s Health Care Priorities and Alaska’s Daughters

Today, Lisa Demer of the Anchorage Daily News has broken a story that adds another scandal to the growing list of  scandals that have plagued this administration, and shines the light on Alaska’s very own health care crisis.  Demer’s story centers on the horrendous condition of the Alaska’s state programs that are designed to help its most vulnerable citizens, the elderly and disabled.

The situation is so bad the federal government has forbidden the state to sign up new people until the state makes necessary improvements. [snip]

The moratorium is expected to last four or five months. State officials estimate about 1,000 Alaskans will be affected.

A particularly alarming finding concerns deaths of adults in the programs. In one 2 1/2 year stretch, 227 adults already getting services died while waiting for a nurse to reassess their needs. Another 27 died waiting for their initial assessment, to see if they qualified for help.

No other state in the nation is under such a moratorium, according to a spokeswoman for the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

There are currently eight lawsuits pending against the state which also rang alarm bells on the federal level.

Doctors and other health care providers wrote to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid with concerns that the state wasn’t responsive. Some alleged that the lack of state controls “has resulted in the death(s) of the active clients,” the federal review said.

While the people served are frail and suffer from chronic health issues, the state never investigated to determine if any failure in service contributed to the deaths, the federal review found.

“Thus, if someone passed away because a (personal care assistant) did not show up, for example, there was no indication this would have been reported or investigated,” the report said.

The state plans to start doing fatality reviews.

The state plans to start doing fatality reviews?

So, it would appear, since we are the only state where the situation is bad enough to require federal intervention  that the administration has had its mind on other things.  We know, of course, that the governor has been busy with her farewell tour, flying all over the state and signing bills and doing little shout outs and quotes of the day on her twitter account, and getting ready to become a full-time celebrity.

But what about health?  What have been, and what currently are the administrations top priorities on matters of health and human services?  It’s obviously not the care and well-being of our vulnerable seniors, so what is it?

The administration is spending an awful lot of time on the upcoming ballot initiative that will address parental notice and consent for anyone under the age of 18 who is seeking to terminate a pregnancy.  Here is the initiative language with recent changes in language underlined.  parental20involvement20initiative1

Two years ago, the Alaska Supreme Court on a 3-2 ruling said that a parental consent law was unconstitutional because it transferred the right to make such an important decision to a parent or a judge.  They also stated that a parental notification law, however,  might be constitutional.

Although she stated she’d like to take this on personally, Palin, under the advice of her attorney, took a step back.

“I got a preliminary opinion from Law (Department) just giving me a heads up that critics would certainly file an ethics charge against me if I were to sponsor an initiative,” she said. “So though I maintain I have First Amendment rights just as any other citizen does, I won’t flirt with the notion of giving critics more ammunition to keep filing wasteful ethics charges against me, but instead I’ll volunteer to be the first signature.”

There go those critics again, demanding ethics.  And there goes the governor again, not quite understanding the first amendment, or the ethics act.

Planned Parenthood, recognizing that a girl who doesn’t want to tell her parents she’s pregnant, or fill out paperwork to get time off from school to go stand before a judge in superior court and convince him or her that she is mature and intelligent enough to make decisions about her own reproductive health, might just take the situation in to her own hands.

Girls researching self-induced abortion on the Internet could find all kinds of bad advice, said Clover Simon, Executive Director of Planned Parenthood.

In the week prior to Sarah Palin’s hurried announcement that she’d be stepping down as the governor of the state, a new scandal was brewing on the horizon.  It didn’t get as much publicity as some of the other numerous Palin scandals, in part because everyone became preoccupied with her resignation.

The fact that a frightened teen who doesn’t want to become a parent might do what others have done and just try to Google her way out of her predicament may have crossed the mind of Beverly Wooley, the state’s public health director, who was scheduled to appear before the legislature on this issue.  She stated, earlier this month that she was forced out of her position, largely due to differences between her and the governor on the parental involvement issue.

Wooley said she also intended to answer questions from legislators and said she would rely on data, not anyone’s personal beliefs. Whether she personally agreed with the governor is beside the point, Wooley said.

She intended to refer to studies from states that already had passed similar legislation, she said. Some of the research shows that, with parental involvement requirements, girls tend to get abortions later in their pregnancy, which is riskier and more expensive, she said. Other research shows fewer girls get abortions, which abortion foes like Palin likely would applaud.

And while Palin says she “will not hesitate to speak up in support of Alaska’s daughers,”   her concern does not seem to extend to Alaska’s daughters whose parents are literally dying from neglect because of budget cuts and mismanagement.  The “culture of life” seems to have an expiration date that our seniors have passed.  And left out are Alaska’s daughters who will choose not to talk to their parents, and take matters in to their own hands rather than submit to the emotional stress, embarrassment and legal wranglings of convincing a judge that they were abused, or the victim of incest, or just not ready to be a parent.

By all indications Lt. Governor Sean Parnell, who is set to take the helm of state on July 26th will have his work cut out for him.  His predecessor has left him quite a mess.  Where will his priorities lie?



198 Responses to “Palin’s Health Care Priorities and Alaska’s Daughters”
  1. claireh says:

    It is now Friday, 7/17 and I still don’t see this story on Huffpo. Huffpo daily carries stories about Palin that are on par with “Palin Slept Last Night!” Why not this?

    Have I missed it?

  2. mhrt says:

    Ilovemydog also,too.
    Your are so right the coverage for the disabled or for long term illness is all over the united state. My son lives in CA. For years he has not been able to find a doctor that will accept his state coverage. He can go the the emergency room for care but for his routine monthly trip to the doctor we have to send him a check for private pay. I used to work in skilled nursing facilities in Rehab and it just broke my heart for the patients and the rest of the staff. The staff (at least most of them) tried really hard to do a good job,until they lost heart in realizing that the work load and what they could really do was not realistic.The facility would caution us to use less gloves because they were losing money yet at the nursing station would be the company news letter that would say the parent company made a zillioin dollars last quarter. When the administrator of the facility would tell me that I would pickup the news letter and say “then you should not leave this out so that I can see it”. I don’t know why she never fired me. Thanks for your story.

  3. Rob in Ca says:

    Mother Who Thinks:
    I took guardianship for a 5 month old special needs baby, 15 months ago. It is an amazing experience… I am fortunate in her high functioning, but still so very grateful for the support that is out there for her from so many programs. In comparison to your journey, mine has been relatively much easier so far, but it does give me a glimpse of the challenges you have faced. Truly you have demonstrated amazing courage, and you remind us all of what is important in life. We all have a duty to make sure our social programs and safety nets are there for those who need them…your story is a perfect explanation as to why!

  4. michigander says:

    Dear Mother Who Thinks,

    I am at a loss for words. What an intelligent, beautiful and heartfelt post. More people need to read this.

    Thank you for sharing and Bless you and yours

  5. 24owls says:

    Another excellent post AKM – and to the thinking mother – you are a hero to Max and all the other kids and adults you speak for but will never know.

    “What lies ahead of us and what lies behind us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”

    Bravo to you both for all that you do –

  6. Mother Who Thinks says:

    Thanks for the many affirmations sent my way. I’m no hero….I didn’t volunteer for this (parenting a child with serious life-long disabilities like Trig but with a mustache and bipolar disorder as well) but no one is promised a perfect child. It is we who make the promise, to love and nurture and “make a way” for the children we bring to life. It is how we stand up to this challenge that speaks to who we are.

    I’ve fallen short from time to time and still struggle with the challenges and sorrows. It’s been the torch I wish I could have passed on. It has burned me and left scars. I have found, somehow, the strength to do my best day to day, and to dampen my fears of the future. I haven’t found it to be the transformative spiritual journey that others have, and that may point to some deficiencies in me. But from this very average and well-populated place, people like me face these challenges of parenting, of love, every day.

    I get outraged when the advocates of “small government” think I could and should tackle this unanticipated aspect of parenting without community/state/federal assistance. I would have gone under long ago without early learning programs, respite care, special education…..and now, in his young adulthood, home and community-based supports that give him a quality of life. I bring my best to my child; I use my “bootstraps” (….humor, commitment, ability to learn, friends, research, persistence through denial of services, building positive relationships with service providers, regrouping and renewing my efforts to build a life for him, advocacy…..) But I could NOT do it without help.

    Thanks to each of you for the tax dollars that reached my family (in the form of services) and kept us from going under. Thanks to the personnel at state agencies and non-profit and direct service providers who kept (and keep) us from “falling through the cracks.” Thanks for the advocates who push these issues forward towards solutions that work, that recognize the needs and humanity of “the least among us.” The alternatives are pretty grim.

    A hundred years ago kids like mine who survived infancy were hidden away at home or in institutions, often abused and ignored and devalued until their early deaths. In Alaska, we shipped our children away to Morningside Hospital in Portland until the mid-twentieth century, when we built our own institution, Harborview in Valdez. In the mid-1990s, through extensive advocacy and during the governorship of Tony Knowles, a true advocate and humanitarian, Alaska took the step of closing Alaska’s only institution Harborview, in favor of serving this population in home and community based services to children, adults, and families. We thought we had turned the corner, that it was a brand new day for kids and families.

    This remains the right thing to do, financially and morally. This year, in Texas, kids like mine placed in residential state schools were led to participate in “fight club” events for the amusement of the workers who were “caring” for them. People with disabilities are so very vulnerable in every way, yet they are best protected when they are included in the everyday life of families and communities – and the cost to serve them, even those with the most significant needs, is LESS that hospital, nursing home, or institutional care. That is why the medicaid waiver program exists, and why it should be expanded to meet the needs of disabled Alaskans at all stages of life.

    It is beyond comprehension to me that under the Palin administration, despite warnings that this was a critical problem, the ball has been dropped in regards to the vital services provided by medicaid waivers, and that even the ability to APPLY for assistance has been halted. There is plenty of blame to go around, but what is important is that we fix this, now.

    As I raised Max, I had this little motto on a scrap of paper taped to the inside of the bathroom cabinet. I focused on it every day while I brushed my teeth. It kept me going. I think it is the same thing that keeps Mudflatters and service providers and public servants who genuinely strive to make things work for those among us who need our active help and concern.

    It reads like this: COURAGE does not necessarily roar. Sometimes it is the quiet voice at the end of the day that says, “I will try again tomorrow.”

    That, pretty much, is all there is for any of us.

  7. Lee323 says:

    Furthermore…..Palin is a yellow-bellied coward for running out and leaving this mess on Parnell’s watch.

    8 lawsuits and undoubtedly more to come; 4-5 month moratorium imposed by Medicaid/Medicare; negative publicity, intense scrutiny, and headaches for all involved in this aspect of state gov’t, including the gov. of record.

    How convenient for you, Ms. Palin. You are “progressing your higher calling” while everyone gets to clean up the mess.

    Don’t count on it, lady. The bloggers will hound you on this issue and every other issue about which you have lied or shirked your responsibility.

  8. CG says:

    She knew. Here’s her critisicm of national policy, but she references “older AKns”. But here’s the thing – just like ‘Cap & Trade’, she really genuinely doesn’t know what it is.
    All on June 8. She had some kind of briefing from someone, somewhere…

    Here’s a link re: older AKns & Medicare, & a great read by former LG of NY
    10:41 PM Jun 8th

    True reform should benefit, not neglect, older Americans, the very bedrock of society! In AK, 80,000 AKns age 60+, to be affected by reform.
    10:40 PM Jun 8th

    RE: Admin’s health care reform: should take place in open, not behind closed doors. It must be sustainable, rather than “deficit neutral”
    10:39 PM Jun 8th

  9. Lee323 says:

    A lack of staffing, especially in the number of nurses who assess prospective clients for home health services and monitor care, has been hampering Alaska…” (snip)

    Money is available in the state budget, Hilgendorf said, but a nationwide shortage of registered and licensed nurses has made hiring in Alaska particularly difficult, she said. (snip)

    A hiring freeze instituted earlier this year by Gov. Sarah Palin as a cost savings measure delayed some hiring..”

    It is unclear what impact the understaffing has had. The CMS review noted that from October, 2006 to May 2009 there had been 27 deaths among people waiting for initial assessments, and 227 deaths among those waiting to be reassessed.


    Facts summary:

    The programs were/are understaffed..

    Money was available in the state budget.

    Palin still instituted a hiring freeze as a “cost savings measure.”

    8 lawsuits. 254 deaths

    ADN: “No other state in the nation is under such a moratorium, according to a spokeswoman for the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services….(snip)…The state plans to start doing fatality reviews…”

    What is “unclear” about the impact that understaffing has had???

    8 lawsuits are just the tip of the iceberg. Now that this matter has gone public, expect the number of lawsuits against the state to skyrocket. Gov. Palin should be personally included in those lawsuits for the “cost savings measures” instituted at her command as the Chief executive of the state.

  10. LiladyNY says:

    sorry *state*

  11. LiladyNY says:

    I’ve sent a link to this post to Greg Sargent at The Plum Line. He was very responsive when I sent him the link to Mel’s blog on the $2,000,000 Meme, and I thought he might see the benefit of disseminating this information about this disgraceful start of affairs further.

  12. samper says:

    WTH is she doing running around in her last few days tending to wildlife issues (per tweets, if I’m managing the word salad correctly) when THIS kind of story is breaking?

    I would love to see what her campaign/SOS promises were and what she’s actually accomplished.

    Obviously, the health and welfare of AKn’s hasn’t been a priority, but her little pipeline and bridge and grizzlies are. Oh, add to that her slutty cheerleader spread, the Look At Me Tour, and other similar parade wavin’.

    Anyone know how the “other” sites are spinning this latest abhorrent item?

  13. samper says:

    Above, latest chirp from the twit. Which complaint got rejected????

    And if they’re all being rejected, then why is it such a “problem” for her?

  14. samper says:

    Another ethics complaint was rejected by AK Personnel Board. See 6 hours ago from web

  15. EyeOnYou says:

    I just pointed out in the open thread that the ADN has dropped this story off the front page and it is now close to the bottom of the page under the News section, pretty soon …by the end of the day it will be “archived”, with the way they are handling it.

  16. tigerwine says:

    Love my dogs – thanks for correcting me, and for the very information inside look into the health care profession and its problems.

  17. Gardenslug says:

    8 lawsuits and 254 deaths:
    “The common thread in the suits is that seniors and disabled Alaskans aren’t getting the services they are entitled to, under the law, Davis said. In one big win, the state Supreme Court ruled last year that the state had improperly cut off or reduced services to more than 1,000 needy people.”

    “The CMS review noted that from October, 2006 to May 2009 there had been 27 deaths among people waiting for initial assessments, and 227 deaths among those waiting to be reassessed. ”

    “Alaska Senior and Disability Services Director Rebecca Hilgendorf acknowledged problems at a press conference Tuesday, but said the state was already on its way to addressing those issues…
    A hiring freeze instituted earlier this year by Gov. Sarah Palin as a cost savings measure delayed some hiring, Hilgendorf said, though some hires were granted waivers.

    Hilgendorf said that while some nurses were hired elsewhere while awaiting waivers, that happens sometimes in the highly competitive world of nurse recruiting anyway and can’t be directly linked to the freeze. Palin lifted the freeze June 1.”

    Who is responsible?

  18. beth says:

    lovemydogs [@172] – I so agree with your not wanting to judge in haste.

    In our area, Georgia, annual reports just came out on the death rates at hospitals within the state. One hospital in my immediate area is, as it’s had to do for the past umpteen years, having to (re)educate the public on *what* it does. It takes in the area’s most dramatically ill, the area’s most frail, the area’s trauma AND severe trauma patients, and the area’s ‘normal’ patients. Because of the ‘type’ of patients the hospital sees in its ER and/or admits, its death rate is *necessarily higher* than the rates at a hospital that only takes in ‘normal’ patients.

    The ‘saving grace’ for the particular hospital, though, is that (every year) it has the facts and figures to show *exactly* the number of patients who died AND the medical/underlying condition the (deceased in their care) patients came into the hospital *with*. There’s a huge difference between someone dying of head trauma as the direct result of a motorcycle accident and a patient dying as a direct result of neglect/negligence on the part of the hospital.

    It appears as if AK doesn’t have in place a method for such basic accounting. Sounds, to me, like somebody has seriously dropped the ball on the leadership front that such accounting isn’t already in place…and mandatory at each institution. b.

  19. lovemydogs says:


    Oh-it seriously sucks. It does not make the prospect of aging appetizing at all.

    For all of you mudpups who are/have been caregivers-I feel your pain. I have seen what you have to go through and used to come home crying at night because it seemed there was nothing I could do to help what seems an almost impossible situation. My father, in Colorado until his death, had none of the options that we have enjoyed up here.

    All I can say is make your legislators feet burn if they are toeing the party line and refusing to do ANYTHING about the problem of healthcare.

    Unfortunately, as much as I love PO, he is not taking it far enough. IMO We need universal health CARE, not universal health INSURANCE in this country. But good luck getting that passed.

  20. Bretta says:

    #87 July 15th, 2009 at 4:17 PM short-timer Says: “”Don’t know if there are more, but just the sheer numbers in turnover suggests leadership problems at the very top.””

    Yes, it is worse than that. The refusal of the Palin Administration to authorize the negotiated pay raises of state employees resulted in a delay of payment for over a year. The delay of payment did not include interest. This caused many employees to leave state service.

  21. beth says:

    Mother Who Thinks [@42], rebekkah [@113], SmallSteps [@135], and other ‘flatters who’ve let me glimpse into their exceptional lives this night, thank you. Your un-whining candidness and honesty is most refreshing and, to my way of thinking, much-needed in world.

    And, touching on the other issue brought up by AKM in the post… I read the ‘Parental Notice and Concent Initiative” –

    All I can say is: As a parent and as a woman, I find the whole concept of such ‘initiatives’ *extremely* insulting to ALL females. What a patient discusses with their physician about *their* health is no one else’s business. If that person *wishes* to share/consult with someone else about the Drs visit, that is *their* option. It’s NOT the court’s or any one elses. (You can be darned sure that if it were a man’s health discussed in a Drs office, it wouldn’t be an issue…)

    And how insulting is it to all the Drs in AK that they have to, by [proposed] law!, jump through hoops to ‘satisfy’ the state’s mandate. Odd how, in all *other* matters of patient/doctor relationships, the Dr is trusted to do what is medically the absolute best for the patient, but when it comes to a pregnant, unmarried, unemancipated female under the age of 18, the Drs judgement and years of medical training are, in essence, (per the proposed initiative) scoffed at and are of no account.

    I sincerely hope Alaskans look long, hard, and seriously at the proposed initiative. And knock it right off of its tracks. IMO, *any* such ‘initiative’ that would restrict in *any* way a female’s right to privacy and health care is (in case you hadn’t guessed) a bad, bad, BAD thing. b.

  22. Bretta says:

    KS left Governorship to work for Obama Admin – Jon Stewart: why are governors such quitters? LOL

    Discussed that public will have choices. Private vs Public options.
    Marketplace would provide a variety of options.
    About 180 million Americans covered thru employer. Employer-based coverage can’t switch to government coverage. Government coverage would fill gap in the marketplace – if your employer sheds coverage; that is, if small employers can’t afford, government coverage would become available.

  23. Muppet2 says:

    Lovemydogs: Thank you for your point:counterpoint. Very informative. I like being able to learn something about the ‘system’. I didn’t realize it was fed v state and you explained that well.
    This post made me gasp in horror and made me want to get up out of my chair and come to Alaska and help those poor elderly souls. (Only 30 days left in Germany, thank God).
    Thank you Mudpuppies for helping me learn something today, even if it wasn’t pleasant.

  24. Bretta says:

    OMG – Daily Show with Jon Stewart is covering the current government health care issues. I love satire. It is so much closer to Truth.

  25. Bretta says:

    #170, July 15th, 2009 at 10:45 PM Georgia in NC Says:

    And Blessed be! to you as well for your strength & encouragement.

  26. lovemydogs says:

    Medicare is federal, Medicaid is state.

    I left a long post on the open thread about this subject. I work in health care (have done a lot of Home Health and now work in a long term care facility). This is not a black and white problem. It is not new. It only got reported on because now the feds are involved (and that is probably a good thing). And because it has obviously reached a crisis stage now.

    I love AKM and mudflats and as much as I enjoy SP bashing, I am not sure that this story is balanced at this point. Elderly folks dying while waiting for services is rather dramatic (and makes for good copy) but I am not sure exactly what that means. The circumstances are not at our fingertips to see. I think that the “fatality reviews” need to be done (should have been done all along) before everyone goes overboard. A lot of my patients made the choice to stay at home even though they were advised that they couldn’t get the necessary services that would meet their needs.

    A big part of the problem is lack of qualified staff. The turnover for home health aides, etc is intense. Same reasons that nursing homes often lack staffing.

    Overwhelmed and lack of qualified staff at the state level (where regulation takes place) is also a problem. I don’t know how many near screaming conversations I used to have on the phone with some of them (some are good-others are complete fools and have no business being in their jobs). They often operate just like an insurance company (deny, deny, deny because they don’t want to pay). Or they pay out astronomical amounts for people who are riding the system (there are plenty of those up here too).

    If physicians and other health care professionals are writing to the state and asking for something to be done and get no response, then that is another matter entirely and the lack of state response is unforgivable.

    This state has a ton of money for these programs (far more than many Outside). It was originally very poorly regulated and treated like the money tree that would always be in bloom by consumers and providers alike. About 8 years ago I told my fellow health care professionals “this can’t go on forever, eventually they are going to run out of money” Sadly, the response was often “Well, we better get it while we can then”. There are some seriously greedy people out there.

    The flip side of that is that health care providers often cannot afford NOT to make Medicaid their bread and butter. Medicare is so highly regulated and bureaucratized that we are buried in paperwork and often don’t get paid for our work. Many physicians are just opting out of taking Medicare patients because the amount of money they are reimbursed is so pitiful that they might as well be working their butts off for free. And that is NOT a purely Alaskan phenomenon.

    Something that everyone should know:
    Medicare will only pay for someone to be in a skilled nursing facility (nursing home) for 90-100 days and then only if they require at least 3 skilled services (nursing/OT/PT/SLP). If not (i.e. dementia patients or those too sick/weak to participate in therapies), then Medicaid picks up the tab. And that is ONLY IF YOU QUALIFY for Medicaid (as in, you are poor). Otherwise you or your family pays privately (to the tune of $7000-12,000 per month) until you run out of money and qualify for Medicaid. If you bought long-term care insurance, beware, and read the fine print (they may not cover if Medicare doesn’t).

    Often the same rules apply if you are at home. If you don’t qualify for Medicaid, no one will help you. You pay out of pocket until you are broke. And good luck finding decent staff.

    This phenomenon is a classic example of how f*#ked up our health care system is and why it needs reform and needs it NOW. And Alaskan legislators in Washington are voting AGAINST health care reform.

    Yes- our gov should be aware that these things are happening. She should not be getting in petty squabbles with the Public Health Dept because someone does not support HER anti-abortion agenda. The people who were fired/resigned from the Public Health Dept may have known about these problems (I certainly hope they did). Perhaps that is why they left. Or perhaps they left because they couldn’t get anything done because our gov can’t play well with others. I don’t know.

    I do know that I want a bit more information before I start screaming for blood.

    On the issue of parental notice/consent for abortion, I have weighed in before and I am COMPLETELY against this. I believe that women will ALWAYS have the choice-it is just a matter of whether that choice will be safe or whether lives will be lost because it is outlawed. Stay out of my uterus!

    Now I must stop before I start foaming at the mouth.

  27. Bretta says:

    #162 July 15th, 2009 at 8:49 PM BigSlick Says: “”When the thaw comes to Alaska each year, there are always bodies found of people who went missing during the freeze and got covered in snow, only to be found weeks, even months later.

    I wonder if investigations will show that there were elderly or infirm individuals waiting for help from these programs so badly mismanaged by the Palin administration who, in despair, ventured out in a vain attempt to seek help and then fell victim to the cold in this way when a simple well-being check was missed.””

    I don’t know where you are located, Big Slick, but in Anchorage, at least six bodies of indigents were found at Spring thaw. Now, with this information, it is even sadder than it was on the first report.

  28. Georgia in NC says:

    White light to all the caregivers in the mudflats! you are the heart and soul of the family and the community…….remember, every spell you cast – words, deeds – comes back to you threefold. Blessed be!

  29. tigerwine says:

    Hey, Diest!! Have enjoyed your previous posts.

    I find it hard to believe there are no doctors in ANC who accept Medicare. Are you looking for a specialist? Even they should accept Medicare. Maybe this is part of the medical emergency that AKM is talking about. Medicare is administered by the State – oh, oh, there goes the red flag!

  30. deist says:

    My mom was born in Seward in 1925. It is impossible for us to find a doctor who will accept medicare patients in Anchorage. What a way to treat a pioneer.

  31. .
    Thanks for all the terrible information about the almost-first-female-President. And thanks for helping to keep that from ever happening. We’d rather vote for you.

    In fact, we did: You won a Cosie this month, you muckraker, you.


  32. bucfan says:

    Ok, I am going to go outside my usual box here ((might be due to the stuff that I am on for my back injury) and use a bible quote, Mathew 25:40, “The King will reply ”I tell you the truth, whatsoever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’ For someone who waves her christianity in our faces, it doesn’t seem like she abides by that particular quote.

  33. ds55 says:

    She’s Tweeting about mama bears.

  34. Dew Diligence says:

    You owe it to your readers to point out that this mess began under Murkowski and previous legislative budget cuts.

  35. The Rubber Room Hotel says:

    Bakers Dozen, LOL

  36. BigSlick says:

    When the thaw comes to Alaska each year, there are always bodies found of people who went missing during the freeze and got covered in snow, only to be found weeks, even months later.

    I wonder if investigations will show that there were elderly or infirm individuals waiting for help from these programs so badly mismanaged by the Palin administration who, in despair, ventured out in a vain attempt to seek help and then fell victim to the cold in this way when a simple well-being check was missed.

    If so, may the guilty parties burn for their sins.

  37. Thinking?? says:

    Tweet, Tweet, Sarah and Todd…maybe George Bush and Laura will
    rent you a room. Sarah, give Bushy a Tweet

  38. Baker's Dozen says:

    Bumper sticker:
    Sarah’s official pic. Next to it:
    I [heart] Alaska. Except
    Natives, elderly, children, disabled, LGBT, wildlife

  39. Cynamen Winter says:

    That tweet came from the “spoofed” Twitterer…..GINO has been unusually quiet today.

  40. tm68 says:

    So confusing b/c they look exactly the same.

  41. tm68 says:

    Oops. sorry, I was on the ex gov fake site!

  42. tm68 says:

    Maybe she’s too busy househunting in the Lower 48 to worry about healthcare. Her Tweets weren’t THAT quiet today:

    Todd suggests we buy a 2nd home in the lower48 to make national travel easier. Suggestions? Thinking either Texas or Montana -a big state.

  43. seattlefan says:

    This needs MSM attention. Why doesn’t the press pick up this stuff. Why did it just now break? Does the Alaskan Press pay attention? Granted, ADN printed the story today, but why did it take over 200 people to die for this to come to light?

    Sorry about all of the questions, but I am astounded. It will be left to the ever pressing Alaskan bloggers to get this story out I’m guessing.

    Soon to be ex Governor Palin should be ashamed for not taking action on this issue.

    AKM I hope you guys can collectively get this information out to the main media.

    I notice the tweets are curiously silent today.

  44. wynsplc says:

    I hate to be a pessimist or a stick in the mud(flats), but Sarah will probably skate by on this just like everything else illegal and unethical that she and her administration has screwed up. The one or two times she was found in violation, she got a slap on the wrist. The Legislature seems to prefer to look the other way or let her slide. The “new” Governor has already stated he will continue the policies of Queen Sarah (maybe she will still be calling the shots). I would have thought that as long as he has been around he would at least replace the commissioners (Palin Yes men) but he has asked them to stay on and they accepted. That seems strange to me.

    I hope I am wrong but JMO, I think it going to be more of the same, just with less twittering, tweeting, chirpping or whatever it is called.

  45. WakeUpAmerica says:

    Sarah should be ashamed for her heartless and careless treatment of this problem. What an ass.

  46. Polly says:

    129 John(Canadian Mudpuppy) Says: AKM. Could this be the Iceberg everyone is saying will bring the S.S. Sarah down? Could this be the reason she quit? This is by far more damaging than anything I know of to Sarah’s reputation.
    Isn’t there eight lawsuits? Why hasn’t this been on the news or reported far and wide?

  47. The Rubber Room Hotel says:

    Well if the rest of the state has a spread sheet like the one they handed out to press trying to prove ethics costs, well then i am taking a guess that our state is in a pretty big mess.

  48. Moose Pucky says:

    That was probably a rhetorical question.

  49. CO almost native says:

    Mother Who Thinks and Paula:

    A salute and warm hugs to both of you.

    Besides Catholic and Lutheran organizations, the Adventists run many hospitals.

    My understanding is that Bev Wooley (sp) tried to improve the Alaskan Health department, but she was removed by Palin- Wooley refused to support the parental notification requirement. So tragic.

  50. Moose Pucky says:

    Very important issue. Is anyone in the State of Alaska doing anything to expedite needed corrections to problems so that those in need of assessments at this time can get them sooner rather than later?

  51. The Rubber Room Hotel says:

    Don’t forget that when Gino was handing out that extra money (bribe) last year… she was doing nothing about the high cost of fuel we were paying.
    The villages got socked hard and that extra 1200 bucks barley put a dent in it.

    Gino has been a disaster for Alaska, she sat on her hands while a volcano went off with 6 million gallons of fuel at the bottom of it. She did nothing..

    I have been keeping my mouth shut on this one, but under previous administrations in Alaska when we used to get revenue sharing our communities had to keep meticulous records and turn in monthly reports.
    Not only did Gino give us more money than pipeline days but we have to show the state no accounting. And it seems we can pretty much spend it however we want.

  52. Fern says:


    My god, that was frighteningly realistic! *shudder*

  53. Nan says:

    I think you’ve about got it.

  54. karen marie says:

    I saw this story earlier today and put together a little post of my own which sets out just the beginnings of a list of things like this that Palin could have worked to correct. Unfortunately for Alaskans who elected a person who thought her only choices were “having fun as a lame duck” or walking away from her responsibilities to those who believed her when she said she was up to the challenges of being governor.

    What a pathetic excuse for a human being you are, Sarah Palin.

  55. Nan says:

    oh – sorry, I got it

    heading for some sleep – I need it!

  56. Alaskan Sisu says:

    I know I speak for a lot of Alaskans when I say we appreciate the support of people from throughout the world in assuring Sarah Palin is toast and you betcha’ I’m going to stay on the band wagon!

    I will sleep well tonite knowing that there are a lot more people out there at this very moment in time that are awakening to the nightmare from Wasilla, also. I heart those latest GOP poll numbers, also.

  57. Nan says:

    “CINO” – ?

  58. CougInPortland says:

    It does not surprise me that something as important as “healthcare” has been ignored by your soon-to-be ex. When she ignored the plight of those villages with no food/heat until she had a good photo-op with Franklin Graham, the writing was on the wall in my book. Just a smile for the cameras and a sound bite, all is well. I HONESTLY wish your state the best in Parnell.

    Not only is she a GINO but a CINO.

  59. Irishgirl says:

    OMG…reading this at 4.30 in the morning. Just skimming so far..but how awful!

  60. bubbles says:

    mother who cares“ i hope you will come back and join us….b

  61. AuntieRuth says:

    Don’t Ya know its all about progressing personal responsibility! We know that families should take care of their own God given burdens that we have the choice to embrace in the way that God meant us to when He created Them here under our feet! Tripp has Four Generations of loving family enablers who also clean up after the rest of the family also helping take care of him! Why can’t you people understand that you have to take care of your old folks, cripples and retards in your own family!!!! And, in addition, Big Government is BAD, also! If you can’t take care of your own, put ’em out on an ice floe like in the old days. Tough love is what also progresses AK toward a New Day when energy independence and smaller government will also mean an out of the box way of looking at the future of the national and international affects that can be addressed by us in a role outside of Big Government also.

  62. overthemoon says:

    Another issue that Palin seems to have neglected is education. I noted that in her list of ‘accomplishments’ she listed the opening or groundbreaking for a new prison, but I don’t recall seeing any thing about new schools or school funding for a state that ranks at the very bottom of the nations school systems. This, and the health care crisis, are enough in my mind to illustrate the absolute lack of connection to real problems instead of pork items like pipelines.

    I’m an outsider from Kansas, would love to have someone in the know set me straight if I am wrong. Otherwise, I will be working diligently for the Democratic party to make sure this gal never gets a foothold in the lower 48.

  63. LiladyNY says:

    (((Mother Who Thinks))) – I honor your courage.

  64. SmallSteps says:

    I feel like Charlie Brown when Lucy takes the football away, “AIAIAIAIGGGHHHH!!!!! Just when I think I can’t be anymore disgusted by SP she lowers herself further into the slime.
    Manxmamma asked where Dante would put her. I say the 7th level of He11. Right to Birthers someone else said. I agree. Many (not all) don’t give a hoot after the baby is delivered. As a parent of a child like Trig, I get really angry when health care providers give outdated and scary sounding info to expecting parents and then recommend a “termination”. But as a woman I can’t in good conscience tell someone else what to do with their own body.
    Mother Who Thinks – (((((((hugs)))))))). Best of luck with Medicaid/Medicare and with your son. My daughter is still very young, but we wonder and worry about what the future will hold for her and how independently functional she will be, versus what services/supports she will need.

  65. seattlefan says:

    To anadventure:

    Thanks for the insight. Do you think the lack of resources is due to policies directly related to the Gov. and the Leg. cutting funds to “cut health care costs”? I noted that someone posted earlier that that was one of her innauguration (sp?) promises.

    This whole thing is just so tragic and maddening.

  66. John(Canadian Mudpuppy) says:

    zyggy Says:
    July 15th, 2009 at 5:27 PM
    Bible Spice will take no blame, she’ll blame it on everyone else, wait and see.

    You maybe right Zyggy, but the buck stops with Palin. This is part of her official duties to make sure all Alaskans have have been looked after properly. Talk about being short changed by the people in charge.Jeez,, mary n joseph, people died here. What is wrong with these people.

  67. Star says:

    How can $ARAH sleep at night??? She has got to be the coldest person …I truly hope people wake up and find out what she is really all about.I feel sorry for the people of AK..This is not right..

  68. zyggy says:

    wallflower, Palin was trying to pay everyone off, hoping they would overlook her inabilities.

  69. wallflower says:

    The ADN report about In-Home Support Services is tragic for a couple of reasons. Without knowing more details, it reads as if these issues are symptomatic of one thing–insufficient staffing, not enough social workers to complete the in-home assessments, locate, interview, screen and assign caregivers. Insufficient staffing comes from insufficient funding. IHSS is a federally funded program, which means that roughly 66 cents on every dollar paid into it is a federal tax money, not state money. It’s too bad that last year, when Alaska had huge surpluses and paid out, I think, well-publicized bonus checks to every man, woman and child, that the governor and the legislature didn’t considering setting aside, say, $600,000, which would have leveraged an additional $1.2 million federal buck if my math is correct, and hired some people for this crucial work. That would only have taken $100 per person out of the woo-hoo-let’s-party money. Would that have been worth it, to save the life of someone’s grandmother or grandfather?

  70. John(Canadian Mudpuppy) says:

    AKM. Could this be the Iceberg everyone is saying will bring the S.S. Sarah down? Could this be the reason she quit? This is by far more damaging than anything I know of to Sarah’s reputation.

  71. anadventurer says:

    Why am I not surprised? Why is nothing that happens in the government of the state I once viewed as the “best” (having been to all the other states) surprising to me? Nothing you say to me that this government does would in any way surprise me.

    I have friends in various departments of the state government and I know that they are all dedicated hard workers, but all of them know their department is a mess, not enough employees, budget or both to do what they need to do.

    So, I am not surprised to hear there is no investigation when a sick person on medicare dies. They do not have the resources.

  72. Canadian Neighbour says:

    It is also family members/caregivers who will first complain to the agency with no response. You complain to your Goverment member for your area – to the Health Area, the Governor’s Office being the highest office of the state, then you climb outside that to Washington in the case of U.S. but you have to remember this was happening when Bush was in office — you climb the ladder to to point by the time you get to the top you are over the edge and it takes nothing to sound hysterical as this has taken months.

    Some suggestions of a FOIA documents — IMO most could not be released right now as there are presently 8 law suits pending against the State as AKM mentioned about. Therefore the state would probably not release as they could be considered evidence.

  73. Sdilmoak says:

    I despise this woman. I am without words tonight.

  74. sally says:

    samper Says:
    July 15th, 2009 at 5:30 PM
    And DOUBLE barf.
    Although this is a serious subject, I appreciate the barf X 2 comment. It just tickled my funny bone. I just laughed so hard when I read that. I concur. she is an epic failure.

  75. redwoodmuse says:

    just had a thought about SP – ignorant AND deadly

  76. leenie17 says:

    Palin has been quick to brag about being the mother of a special needs child but I see very little real compassion in any of her actions. She dragged her children around the country during the campaign and rarely seemed to show any affection towards Trig. I cringed when I saw the way she held him, face out like a sack of potatoes. Bristol and Piper always seemed to be much more attached to Trig and showed more genuine maternal instincts than did Sarah. Her knee-jerk ‘momma grizzly’ defense of her children was only seen when the media spotlight began to dim.

    Despite her claims to the contrary, she has repeatedly shown disregard for those who need the most help and support: the elderly, those with disabilities, people struggling to eat and stay warm in rural villages, pregnant teens, children with special needs, etc. She may be able to convince a receptive crowd of her dedication to her most needy constituents, but her actions (or lack thereof) tell a much different story. Talk is cheap, Buttercup!

  77. Miss Demeanor says:

    This is not just senoirs but VULNERABLE adults, too.
    Should this be the epilogue or the prologue to Buttercup’s book?
    Hey, she’s getting millions, why should she care?
    Obviously I am so angry I am spitting.

    “Progressing our state”

    # 114 – I have always called it the “pro-birth” movement because Palin & Co. do not give a hoot once the child is born!

  78. sally says:

    Sue Says:
    July 15th, 2009 at 5:07 PM
    She was collecting per diem while living at home, and these people were dying. DISGRACEFUL!
    You are right…well said!

  79. Paula says:

    mother who thinks- I know your pain.

  80. samper says:

    Hmmm… if the “feds” are poking around about this, who’s to say they aren’t getting information on OTHER things?

    She disgusts me. There aren’t even words to describe the contempt I have for someone who goes on a “Look at Me” tour while people are DYING in her state due to lousy health care.

    All her stupid little photo ops… maybe instead of fishin’, she should have been seeing what she was going to do to help the vulnerable in the state. And not just on the health care side, either…

    What about the folks in Eagle? Did they ever even get the gravel?
    What about the villagers who are being raped out of stocking up for the winter?
    What is the plan THIS year to make sure heating fuel is plentiful and no one freezes?



    And DOUBLE barf.

  81. Paula says:

    Doctors and other health care providers wrote to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid with concerns that the state wasn’t responsive.

    But she was going to bring them cookies…

  82. zyggy says:

    Bible Spice will take no blame, she’ll blame it on everyone else, wait and see.

  83. Paula says:

    GOP logic?
    227 people have already died,
    another 227 teenagers may die from self inflicted abortions,
    but so long as it’s not the fetus that dies…

    Pro life my arse.

  84. Lee323 says:

    I don’t know whether this story is THE “Iceberg” but without a doubt it’s an iceberg to a governor who has aspirations to higher office. Very clear and damning evidence of mismanagement and indifference at the highest levels of state government is apparent. Did Gov. Palin know about it? Read the following quote from the ADN article:

    “Doctors and other health care providers wrote to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid with concerns that the state wasn’t responsive. Some alleged that the lack of state controls “has resulted in the death(s) of the active clients,” the federal review said.”

    Doctors and other health care providers wouldn’t have written to Centers for Medicare & Medicaid if the state had been responsive to their concerns. You can darn well be sure these doctors started with department heads and, when that didn’t work, went all the way up to the highest levels of the state, including the governor’s office. When people are neglected and dying, most doctors will go on a crusade for the patients!! If no one listens……then the doctors had no choice but to go Federal with the complaints. Period.

    I’m very curious what Ms. Wooley and Dr. Butler, fired and resigned respectively, know about this scandal.

    Very black eye for the Palin administration….maybe even enough to precipitate the kind of hasty resignation speech we saw on July 3.

  85. Sue says:

    re: churches owning hospitals — This is not uncommon. In the past, as well as currently, the Catholic Church owns (and runs) many hospitals. And I have heard of Lutheran hospitals, too.

  86. rebekkah says:

    I am starting to believe that SP is unable to show any empathy towards others. Her entourage may consist of healthy happy individuals who have the midas touch. But, “average americans, canadians here too also” deal with elderly parents, as some here know. Having spent a lot of time assisting my elderly mother wasn’t easy. The years leading up to her transition into a care home required me to be on call for her every need, and during my husband’s layoff from a 17 year-old job, with no other job prospects in that area, I pretty near had a nervous breakdown. And, am certain others have endured worse situations.

    Caring for disabled, or elderly, or special needs children is an all-consuming job, and it takes energy out of individuals. Sarah Palin does not prove to be a person that can even understand this concept. All those People, Vogue interviews, the Runner’s World article photo spread, self-serving attention grabs, while her constituents need dire attention makes one want to hurl.

  87. Sue says:

    God bless you, Mother Who Thinks.

  88. zyggy says:

    She is not the only one to blame, what about the AK Leg? Were they in denial about this, or unaware of it? Maybe, but they aren’t quitting. There is enough blame to go around, let’s see who acts on, or speaks first.

  89. Sue says:

    She was collecting per diem while living at home, and these people were dying. DISGRACEFUL!

  90. Bretta says:

    I’m positive $arah knew this was coming prior to the resignation because the letter was sent June 26.

  91. Bretta says:

    There are many programs in the State of Alaska that are run by the state and funded by the “Feds.”
    If the program has federal approval (autonomy) there is no oversight except for the funding process. If the particular program is “not approved” then there is regular oversight (audits and inspections) by the “Feds.”

  92. Canadian Neighbour says:

    Kathleen Sebelius is schedule to be on the Daily Show tonight but I certainly don’t expect her to be talking about this.

    Here is a link to who is scheduled on Late Night & Talk Shows or if they are rerunds

  93. rebekkah says:

    Yep, just had to say that I am aware that the majority of Federal stimulus money was approved after. But, at the onset of deciding whether to take it or refuse it, SP publicly disagreed with it. Her preachy tweets she’s been twittering lately just make this whole thing all the more despicable.

  94. weaver57 says:

    Mother Who Thinks – best to you and yours. Keep up.

    The time to begin dealing with babies such as Trig is during their first year. Seeing how he was hauled around during the VP run, intervention was most likely not done. I wonder if anything is being done now?

  95. zyggy says:

    Do you think Bible Spice was aware of this and not say anything, or was she trying to hide this until she left? I’m wondering when she’ll twitter about this on on twit site? I suspect never.

  96. Bretta says:

    #77 July 15th, 2009 at 3:46 PM, HonestyinGov Says: Would this fall under the watch of Kathleen Sebelius at the Federal level..?”

    Barbara K. Richards, Associate Regional Administrator, Medicaid and Childrens’ Health Operations, is in charge of the investigation.

  97. WasillaWarrior says:

    I hope you get this article on the Huffington Post

  98. rebekkah says:

    Am wondering how much responsibility the Governor has in a situation like this. Shouldn’t each department head be always current in their programs and send updates to the Governor’s Office. What is so maddening is that SP refused those stimulus dollars that could have helped their State Health programs like this one.

    She had to only been thinking of herself. Refusing those federal dollars would make her look like a fiscally conservative Presidential nominee. Forget people with needs. Unbelievable. What is it going to take for people to stop sending this woman money.

  99. austintx says:

    18 Wurzelhexli Says:
    July 15th, 2009 at 1:53 PM
    Can you imagine incest, resulting in pregnancy? That girl will have nowhere to turn!
    Used to be , Dr. CBJ would help you out in that situation. You know , the M.I.A. Dr. who delivered Trig. Wasn’t she a big shot on all the different boards and such also ? too ?

  100. Canadian Neighbour says:

    A Reminder — It’s a RED State!!

  101. Ripley in CT says:

    #55 Gramiam:

    Isn’t it Buttercup who said there was a special place reserved in Hell for women who don’t support other women? I suspect she knows this place well, and has her room all ready and waiting for her arrival.

  102. honestyinGov says:

    I sure wish I was logged into the NewsMiner. (People who are might want to post a comment there ) I wanted to see what their take on the story was since they had that somewhat negative story about their Editorial Board.
    (quote )
    “The services are paid for by Medicaid and overseen by the state Division of Senior and Disabilities Services.”
    As this one sentence says…. the services are ” PAID FOR by Medicaid” and yet 3 of the 4 comments are saying things like…

    1. “Federal officials can’t manage their own programs. Who’re they to question or criticize ours?”

    2. “No strings huh????”
    I say WTF !! These must be Palin supporters who hate the ‘ feds’…. because
    Did they not read…”overseen by the ‘ STATE ‘ Division of Senior and Disabilities Services.”

    The STATE oversees it (NOT the Feds ) and in their minds they blame the Feds… who are paying the Bills. {{{{{{IDIOTS!!!}}}}}
    What is wrong with these people…?

  103. crystalwolf aka caligrl says:

    Canadian Neighbour Says:
    July 15th, 2009 at 4:13 PM

    crystalwolf aka caligrl
    H1N1 in Alaska – 218 cases
    Thanks Canadian Neighbour: it is worse than I thought…she is despicable!

  104. Basheert says:

    Shannyn just answered my blog post. She has taken the ADN story about this and put it up at HuffPo – is asking for anything additional!

    Just an update MudPups.

    Cynamen Winter: Undoubtedly the “focused review” was based upon a lengthy investigation/complaints and lack of cooperation by the State of Alaska’s responsible individuals. They reviewed what they had been investigating for probably some time. This “rumor” was out there.

    RE: FOIA requests
    Why bother to request from AKGOV? CREW can request FOIA regarding the Medicare/Medicaid investigation by H&HS.

  105. Nan says:

    mae lewis
    SP hasn’t been home enough to get “caught up” in any kind of therapy for Trig. I hope he is getting therapy from someone, but hanged if I know who it would be.

    Rubber Room Hotel
    It seems as if you’re asking if – if there is a pattern to what group or groups that are seeing this neglect. Do I have that right?

    I don’t want to think this, or even acknowledge it, but it does seem to me that anyone who is “different,” is not recognizably mainstream (by her), who is not-the-same-as … just doesn’t seem to get the same attention as say, her ol’ high school buddies.

    heckuva note, eh?

  106. Canadian Neighbour says:

    Rubber Room Hotel,
    If it says that you are already in chat, then you should be able to just start chatting away by typing your message at the bottom of the box

  107. Cynamen Winter says:

    “Federal officials conducted their “focused review” in May and notified Health and Social Services Commissioner Bill Hogan of the moratorium in a June 26 letter.”
    Exactly 1 week before GINO held her out-of-breath, impromptu QUITTERS speech @ Lake Lucille.

  108. Canadian Neighbour says:

    I have read through the comments and I have read those who have posted their personal stories. I thank you for that. It’s not easy to do.

    I totally understand when you are dealing with adults requiring assistance and/or with extreme needs. It’s very difficult to deal with. The strength it takes, mentally and physically on yourself — is brutal at times. We all do what we have to do — what we believe best for our kids, for our parents. We are doing the right thing — never second guess yourself. You thought long and hard to make those decisions you did – out of love – with love.

  109. d zent says:

    Palin and the Republicans are no Christians:

    Matthew 25:40-46 (New International Version)

    “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’

    41″Then he will say to those on his left hand, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

    44″They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

    45″He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ 46″Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

  110. The Rubber Room Hotel says:

    I would join you problem child but seem to have trouble connecting, also it says I am already there.

  111. the problem child says:

    Feeling a bit bummed. Anyone up for some frivolous chat?

  112. short-timer says:

    Bill Hogan at least the second commissioner under the Palin Administration. Karleen Jackson held the post early in Palin’s term and resigned from lack of engagement from the governor. I think Andrew Halcro had a story about it. It seems Palin was just stirring up the pot–she’s gone through several Chiefs of Staff, two Public Safety commissioners, and at least two Health Commissioners. Don’t know if there are more, but just the sheer numbers in turnover suggests leadership problems at the very top.

  113. Canadian Neighbour says:

    crystalwolf aka caligrl
    H1N1 in Alaska – 218 cases

  114. Mudbug says:

    Perhaps this is $arah’s idea of ‘natural selection’?

  115. Mudbug says:

    Let them eat cake!!!

  116. honestyinGov says:

    I went to the Huffpo front page where they have a ‘ send a tip ‘ story. Because they just posted a big Healthcare story on the Front page I suggested they read AKM’s story here about the scandal. It could be a tie in. They know Palin stories get lots of hits as well…. so Money for them

    10 of 15 more of the same tips as well could create a Buzz over at Huffpo.Takes less than a minute to send it.

  117. crystalwolf aka caligrl says:

    Oh another thing Gino neglected, there was a briefing on the H1N1 flu…and she was too busy arguing about the stimulus funds she completely blew off the meeting with the health Advisors. I don’t have a link but it was in ADN yesterday and on a couple of blogs. This was before H1N1 showed up, but now there have been 22 cases (I believe)
    She just blew off the meeting…. maybe to have a photo op with runners world or something important to her. When I saw that I was like, “If I was in AK, I would be pissed”! 😈

  118. Canadian Neighbour says:

    IMO chances are that any FOIA document requests at the moment won’t yield much in that there are presently 8 law suits against the state.

  119. crystalwolf aka caligrl says:

    jojobo1 Says:
    July 15th, 2009 at 3:11 PM

    I am going to have to say that this goes back way before Palin became governor,My brother was disabled and lived near Wasilla a trailer fell on him and he went to the hospital and since he was on medicaid or medicare I suppose it was they kept him for a few days them discharged him and a pastor took him in till he could care for himself. he had many internal injuries which were not treated and IMO contributed to his death maybe six months later.So this problem is long term and it seems no one has addressed it,I also think there is a lack of primary care doctors up there because my sister who also lived up their went to something called a nurse practitioner
    First I would like to say I’m sorry for your loss {{HUGS}}
    But I would like to clarify something, NP or Nurse Practitioners are Nurses that have gone through extensive training. They can RX something and the Dr. supervising has to approve it. I have had a NP for years and she is so much better than a Reg. Dr. She takes extended time with me and I couldn’t ask for better Healthcare provider. I had one DR. on a Urgent care try to diss her…I went there b/c I had a cough and needed cough medicine. She sent me to xray, culture for “whooping cough” 4 inhalers, which I did not get, a total ripoff! Then she wanted me to come back to see her(and pay) and get BP checked, b/c my NP wasn’t a DR.???Oh that really made me mad. Those drs are contracted by the hospital, they don’t work for the hospital like the others do, but never again!
    If your Sis has a good NP can’t do any better than that.

  120. EatWildFish says:

    Another first for Alaska under the Palin Tabloid Administration! First in neglect of elderly/disabled…first in teen pregnancies – high school drop outs – suicide rates – alcoholism ….

    What a wonderfuly legacy Sarah BarraQuitter is leaving behind!

    Like a dead fish, Palin can flow downstream to the L48 forever … and cite all her ‘accomplishments’ to adoring fans – behind closed doors, of course.

  121. Tealwomin says:

    ANOTHER PROMISE (I mean LIE) from her 2007 State Address::::

    “…I’ll enact our “Alaska Health Strategies Council” to effectively provide access and help lower the costs of health care. We must deal with our looming health care crisis from the young to our elderly.

    And with respect to our elders, who built this state, and toiled before us, and FOR us, my budget keeps the state’s promise and funds the longevity bonus for those who were enrolled in the program scheduled to phase out. We’ll also propose legislation to continue SeniorCare for those who meet current eligibility criteria…”

    …Anytime I read another one of her lies, I read the SOS Address – it bears wittness to her flip-flopping.

  122. honestyinGov says:

    Would this fall under the watch of Kathleen Sebelius at the Federal level..?

    Maybe some emails asking for an ‘ investigation ‘ is in order.
    Just saying ‘ please check it out’… and maybe a link to AKM’s post here.
    How about it….. good idea?

  123. The Rubber Room Hotel says:

    Some questions I would like to find out. I will have trouble describing my point but I count on some of our brilliant mud pups to get what I am trying to ask.
    The people who perished and to the people who wait for review, are there any correlations to where in the state these people come from or live? Is this a problem that has been effecting more rural or urban people, or native population?
    One of the problems seems to be that there were not enough nurses to do the reviews. Have they used Community Health Aides?
    Sorry mudpups if i make no sense.

  124. manxmamma says:

    There are so many incidents of injustice or neglect everywhere in our great country. The AK bloggers have done wonderful reporting on the events in AK, it would be wonderful if this could become a USA effort – exposing corruption, helping those who need it, bringing our elected politicians to accountl;

  125. Rob in Ca says:

    I read the ADN article looking in vain for any sign that the reporter asked Bill Hogan or Sarah Palin for a comment or explanation. Did I miss something?

  126. Bretta says:

    Some connection to the dismissal of Beverly Wooley:

    [from the ADN published July 2, 2009, modified July 3, 2009 at 8:00 am]
    “” The shake-up in public health comes after a busy spring for division staff. Nurses went to the Bush to help flooded villages. A few workers responded to a Homer wildfire. The agency was consumed with its response to the swine flu even before the first cases were reported in Alaska.

    One high profile effort under Wooley’s watch was the state’s takeover of the Mary Conrad Center, a struggling nursing home in Anchorage that the state ran for months and recently turned over to new management.

    “Beverly was one of the best people we had,” Butler said. “”

  127. mae lewis says:

    The reason that $arah gave when she resigned was not believed by 70% of the people. She could have used such excuses as The Good Old Appalachian Trail, wanting to concentrate on (ghost)writing that important book, or the best one of all, wanting to spend more time with her family.

    I don’t want to be responsible for writing a good script for $arah. But, people would have believed her if she said that she became so caught up in Trig’s therapy that she wanted to devote herself to him at the most important formative time in his young life. Then, she would be able to give Family Values Speeches, talk to Special Needs groups, and even (no laughing) appear compasionate. And, she could reenter politics when Trig was older, in a few years.

    Sorry, too late; we are already on to her. It is hard to imagine what kind of therapy that Trig is getting, and if Sarah and Todd are any part of it. (Maybe Bristol?) $arah’s apparent lack of concern for her own child is a mirror of her concern for Alaskans. Start the countdown clock, AKM! On the other hand, the next guy may not be much of an improvement.

  128. UK Lady says:

    Crystalwolf – You have to wonder about the timing of pushing for money in that legal defence fund. $P must have known this was coming for ooo- say. at least since just before she resigned

  129. honestyinGov says:

    If as $arah like to call them… ‘the Feds’… this will bring a LOT of Federal Investigators into the picture to get to the bottom of the situation. You won’t have some Palin mouthpiece giving a Press release like…’
    “50% of Villagers have met their substenance needs” without somebody looking over their shoulder to verify it. There will be a lot of records looked at now. THIS is Federal dollars.

    And that Perez lady in records better get ready now. Either and individual , ( with a relative in the system ) Organization (AARP ) or maybe a Watchdog Group I would assume will be filing a FOIA request to look at some records and emails within a week or so. Lets hope so. ( or a Newspaper reporter ?)
    Lets see them say it will cost $65 K again to pull the records. B. S. !!

    10 days away from getting the Job and I’ll bet Parnell is regretting it already.

  130. Bretta says:

    The State of Alaska has known about this since May:
    “CMS Review
    We have temporarily stopped accepting applications for our four Medicaid waiver programs and our Personal Care Assistance program. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Service (CMS) reviewed the programs in May, and recommended the temporary suspension in order to complete a backlog of eligibility assessments and improve administration of the programs.”

    Letter from the Federal Commissioner, 26 June 09

    My goodness, June 26 was ONE WEEK before the events of July 3 – yes?

  131. BigSlick says:

    I hate to say this but I believe Parnell will be even worse than GINO.

  132. Lani Formerly Bash Budweiser Palin says:

    This horrible situation exists in too many states. Additionally, as the recession cuts into states’ budgets, one of the first cuts made in some states is to health care for the elders and for people of all ages with disabilities.

    Mudpup Lock Pepper has been tracking this tragic situation on her excellently researched blog: I suspect that after reading this article, she will add Alaska to her state “Hall of Shame”.

  133. crystalwolf aka caligrl says:

    I saw this in the morning and I’m even more appalled and sickened b/c AKM’s write up makes it crystal clear who is to blame. Special session being called, they need to impeach her, and any family who has lost a love one needs to add her name personally to the lawsuit for criminal neglect! Let her pay out of her Alaska Fund Trust damages to the family’s that lost someone!

  134. manoloho says:

    manxmamma, unfortunately, in my experience the “christian” right cares about the “right to life” only of the fetus in the nine months prior to birth. Once a living, breathing human being is involved they in most cases couldn’t care less.

    IMHO, their “ethics” have more to do with punishing women for having sex than any deeply held belief in the sanctity of anything except their agenda.

  135. asiangrrlMN says:

    I first saw this on Washington Monthly, and I couldn’t wait to come here and get AKM’s take on the matter. Well, I did have to wait, but it was worth it. As always, AKM, you have a thoughtful, well-reasoned, penetrating post that really gets to the heart of the matter. I am not angry so much as I’m inordinately sad for the neediest citizens of Alaska. They deserve so much better than this.

    Mother Who Thinks, thank you for your valuable insight. We need more voices like yours, too.

  136. redwoodmuse says:

    # skip from Asheville NC Says: I think a (FOIR) records request over the Governor’s Office and various department officials over the actions, emails, and reports would be most revealing as her to direct actions and attentions given to this issue. ……………………

    Oh yes, now is the time to be filing for requests. I would file two: one for info and memos to and from the Gov’s office as you suggest. I would file an FOIA with the Federal Gov. for emails, messages, directives, etc to the AK Gov and respective departments. As you said, this was not a raid, this was the ‘final straw’ action.

    ds55 Says: Under Palin’s mayorship, her church took over the local Mat-Su regional hospital board of directors.

    and what changes were made in how the hospital did business? I’d do some tracking there and follow it up. Church or no church, if there is malfeasance, it needs to be publicized and roundly condemned.

    redwoodmuse – who hearts Alaskans who are dealing with this, but still thinks wistfully of the wonderful fodder up yonder for her investigative journalist’s heart. And you bloggers are AWESOME, no disrespect intended. Just that my palms itch to do some digging (and writing) in such well composted territory.

  137. manxmamma says:

    I just can’t believe so called ‘Christians’ have no idea, or no resolve, to follow his very basic instruction….Love others as you love your self. A fallen Catholic myself, I trust those words and many other precepts that came from ‘Christ’. I wish those on the far right could take a step back, a deep breath, and begin to re-educate themselves in the teachings of Jesus Christ. Hmmm I wonder where Dante would put them?

  138. C. Rock says:

    This is proof that the Feds are poking around in Alaska . Beware $P you can not run or just quit this away. Don’t work that way Nope.

  139. Lee says:

    Palins church is greatly entrenched in the health care system in Alaska, and I think they run the hospital.

    I read that Parnell is a member of her church, and if this is correct, I wonder if he’ll address it. Entrenched you say? As in they help to create this snafu?
    I do not know if they helped to create the snafu, but I believe they do run the hospital. The situation in Alaska is a strange one, and so is Palins 7 Mountians Church. This is going to be interesting as the investigations shed light on just what happened.

  140. Gramiam AKA Smoke Strapon Palin says:

    Here is a thought. Could this be the Iceberg? I mean, she cans or forces out good people and then suddenly resigns. Anybody see a connection?.

  141. jojobo1 says:

    tinydancer you are right on as I read thru the news on yahoo, and go thru some comments I just have to close out as the hate and kill um voices are so bad.Than people wonder why murders happen I hope Levi takes care as some of those people seem to take action when told to by people who tell them to do violence.
    I am going to have to say that this goes back way before Palin became governor,My brother was disabled and lived near Wasilla a trailer fell on him and he went to the hospital and since he was on medicaid or medicare I suppose it was they kept him for a few days them discharged him and a pastor took him in till he could care for himself. he had many internal injuries which were not treated and IMO contributed to his death maybe six months later.So this problem is long term and it seems no one has addressed it,I also think there is a lack of primary care doctors up there because my sister who also lived up their went to something called a nurse practitioner

  142. ds55 says:

    Under Palin’s mayorship, her church took over the local Mat-Su regional hospital board of directors.

  143. skip from Asheville NC says:

    I think a (FOIR) records request over the Governor’s Office and various department officials over the actions, emails, and reports would be most revealing as her to direct actions and attentions given to this issue. This a disgrace and she was given notice and I’m highly confident many requests and demands were made of her and her office to do something to avoid this most drastic action taken by the Feds.

  144. Gramiam AKA Smoke Strapon Palin says:

    Thank you, Mother Who Thinks. You are truly an inspiration. I cannot help but believe that there is a special place in hell for a person like Sarah Palin who casually destroys or damages people’s lives. There is no excuse for her. Somebody asked me if I would stop reading the blogs here now that Palin is resigning. My answer was no. Today, after reading the article it is HELL, NO!! Any person with any compassion in his/her heart owes it to Alaska and the world to demand that she be held accountable. Be warned Palin. You are being watched and you will be judged, if not by man, by your creator.

  145. EdgedInBlue says:

    This is unbelievable. I ‘digged’ it under AKM’s original title.

  146. sandra in oregon says:

    The Commissioner responsible for the elderly program is Bill Hogan. Guess where he lives. Yep, Wasilla. He ran a mental health program there called Life Quest. I have not seen any church affiliation yet.

  147. Empish says:

    I sure do miss that edit button

  148. Empish says:

    When Mary Conrad Center lost its license and there was no other viable placement for their patients, Pioneers Home employees were asked to “volunteer” and fill shifts at that facility while they got things up to code. At the time they would have been paid by the state at their regular wage. Notice is now posted that anyone still working for MCC must be reimbursed by that Center as the state will no longer honor their initial proposal.
    Under Bev W, the state was willing to step in and mitigate a solution. Now she’s out, notice is now posted that anyone still working for MCC must be reimbursed by that Center as the state will no longer honor their initial proposal.

  149. skip from Asheville NC says:

    This is not a sudden suprise action by the Feds. They were put on notice and given ample time to put in place corrective action prior to any notice of a shutdown. Failin Palin choose to do nothing to put in pace reforms and corrective steps. These people may have died because of her neglect and decision to do nothing. Her tweets show her disregard for the neediest ALASKANS AND SHE HAS BLOOD ON HER HANDS. It is serious business to care and protect people and she is whining over petty stuff while is she is planning to escape her responsibilities. SHAME ON YOU! PALIN IS A COMPLETE JOKE OF NOT ONLY BEING A INCOMPETENT GOVERNOR BUT A SORRY EXECUSE OF A HUMAN BEING!

  150. The Rubber Room Hotel says:

    Mother Who Thinks….
    Thank you for sharing your story with us.

  151. nebraska mudflatter says:

    {{{{{{Mother Who Thinks}}}}}}

    you are an inspiration

  152. tinydancer says:

    UK Lady, you took the words right out of my mouth. I always find it ironic that the ones screaming “Pro Life” “Every Life is Precious” etc., etc., are the ones who want to carry guns, favor torture, favor the death penalty and are basically have violent tendancies. It has always been my opinion that they simply want to tell the rest of us how to live our lives according to what they say. Of course, we shouldn’t pay attention to what they are doing because then we would see their hypocrisy(sp?).

  153. Nebraska Native says:

    “government leaders WILL not…” sigh. My little toe for an edit button.

  154. Cynamen Winter says:

    ds55 Says:
    July 15th, 2009 at 2:20 PM

    Whoa-Ho! The church runs the hospital? And Parnell belongs to the church? This sounds like a big, fat scandal to me.
    Especially in lieu of the fact that Wooley was recently forced out by GINO….for some yet unknown reason….

    Keep a close eye on ’em!

  155. Gramiam AKA Smoke Strapon Palin says:

    Don’t Nobody Bring Me No Bad News
    From “The Wiz”
    Written for Sarah Palin?

    When I wake up in the afternoon
    Which it pleases me to do
    Don’t nobody bring me no bad news
    ‘Cause I wake up already negative
    And I’ve wired up my fuse
    So don’t nobody bring me no bad news

    If we’re going to be buddies
    Better bone up on the rules
    ‘Cause don’t nobody bring me no bad news
    You can be my best of friends
    As opposed to payin’ dues
    But don’t nobody bring me no bad news

    No bad news
    No bad news
    Don’t you ever bring me no bad news
    ‘Cause I’ll make you an offer, child
    That you cannot refuse
    So don’t nobody bring me no bad news

    When you’re talking to me
    Don’t be cryin’ the blues
    ‘Cause don’t nobody bring me no bad news
    You can verbalize and vocalize
    But just bring me the clues
    But don’t nobody bring me no bad news

    Bring some message in your head
    Or in something you can’t lose
    But don’t you ever bring me no bad news
    If you’re gonna bring me something
    Bring me, something I can use
    But don’t you bring me no bad news

  156. Nebraska Native says:

    Watching all of this from a safe distance makes me thankful to be where I am, and profoundly sad for AK. AK used to hold such a mystique for me, my best friend spoke so fondly of her time in Anchorage and Fairbanks, I thought it must be one of the most wonderful places on earth. She worked with Natives and learned to honor traditions. And now this. Ex-GINO professes a love of AK that appears to be only that which progresses her personally. I hope the Puppies can use our collective wisdom and $$ to make a positive difference again as it appears the government leaders are not.

  157. Mother Who Thinks says:

    I had a baby like Trig 22 years ago. He is now a young adult who receives medicaid waiver services and lives semi-independently ONLY because of the availability of good in-home supports and services through existing state and non-profit programs. Otherwise he could not possibly have the quality of life he has now, nor could I have a significant part of my life back: the part that was devoted to him for 20 years of full-time care, while working as a teacher to support my family.

    It took jumping through many hoops and much persistence over a three-year period to access these programs and services for him and I cannot imagine going backwards due to (Palin) administrative failure in these essential programs. They are a lifeline for Alaskan families – and their costs are covered over 60 percent by “fed” dollars.

    What will today’s announcement will mean for the hundreds of Alaskan kids with disabilities like my son and their families who are NOT wealthy, who do not have private insurance, who are not able to function without extensive supports?

    I know that without the medicaid waiver my son and I would be in a world of hurt. As I grow older, I find it impossible to meet his many needs myself. He is bigger, stronger, but no more rational or amenable to guidance. His disabilities become more of a handicap as he ages. The truth is that without extensive home and community supports he would have to live in an institution or jail due to his poor judgment and lack of control. It’s not his fault or my failure – it’s just how it is in the real world, when the chaos of nature collides with your dreams of a “perfect baby.”

    Do we need “more” people like this, as Palin said? I think not – but we do need to recognize and meet the needs of people in our state who are here now, and to ensure that their needs are met through effective state and federal programs. They can and do work to make the most out of very difficult situations, and for these programs, I am extremely grateful.

    When I think about the desperation I felt when I finally sought assistance through the medicaid waiver, and I put myself in the position of looking for help now and learning that I could not even APPLY because of deficiencies in Alaska’s system, my heart just about stops.

  158. the problem child says:

    Hilgendorf has been on the job for about six months. Had been acting for several months previous. Wasilla connections, of course.

  159. NYHawk says:


    pitbull w/ lipstick


  160. sue says:

    Simple, silly, stupid Sarah.

    Such a snarky, snippy simpleton.

  161. rocket says:








  162. Closet Mudpup says:

    July 1, 2009
    “We greatly appreciate the thorough and helpful review that CMS recently completed and we are eager to work hand-in-hand with them in any way that will better serve Alaskans who use and need our services,” said Rebecca Hilgendorf, Director of Senior and Disabilities Services.

  163. LiladyNY says:

    Could she be censured for dereliction of duty?

  164. bucfan says:

    Wow. Wow. Wow. Love the fetus, hate everyone else. The governor loves to parade Trig around and talk about how we should take care of our most vulnerable citizens. That is easy to do when you can afford to do it yourself. I remember how she used Murkowski’s decision to do away with the longevity bonus against him in the primaries. Now they are of no use to her so the heck with them. Is that nasty to say. Yes. But since she has been in office, it has been the average Alaskans coming to the aid of other Alaskans, and embarrassing the governor before she takes any actions, like baking cookies.

  165. Diane says:

    Another example of the rights’s culture of life.
    Unborn to newborn, end of story.
    Who is fighting their hardest against healthcare for all Americans?
    Who cut special ed funding before she had a special needs baby?

    She has been on the job 11/2 years. That gave her plenty of time to address the issue OR appt somebody that would have to deal with it and report back to her.
    It appears it was not a priority to her, the gas line, ethics complaint and dueling with the MSM and bloggers were.
    If she can’t do all of the above, she is not fit to be near the Oval office.
    How much more evidence to people need that she cannot do certain jobs?
    No matter how they feel about her?

  166. the problem child says:

    Neglect of the needs of the vulnerable just makes me see red. I want heads to roll over this.

  167. Basheert says:

    You’re right that for Medicare/Medicaid Services to become involved is a HUGE issue. They generally allow States to run and manage their own programs and do not exercise micromanagement oversight. The article also stated there were I believe 8 lawsuits pending as well.

    The “good” news is that Parnell will have $P close by to offer much needed advice. She will help the new Governor handle all these little issues she has chosen to leave him with.

    This may have been an ongoing problem however, it is obvious that Medicare/Medicaid Federal Services would have contacted the State about these many many deaths and past problems prior to embargoing enrollment at this time. They would have obviously attempted to deal with the situation prior to taking this action. It is highly unusual and virtually unheard of for it to get so bad that the Feds embargo a program. There is no chance the State wasn’t aware of this before this particular step happened and obviously the State either did not respond, did not respond appropriately, did not make changes or improvement, or $illy $arah decided it didn’t matter and chose to IGNORE them.
    This is quite simply, failure of leadership. She’s being paid to govern the state. That includes programs. She chose to not manage the Federal Programs that she gets dollars from and has responsibility for. This resulted in the deaths of her citizens.

    I’d say d*mn right she is liable. I’m hoping criminal negligence can be brought into play. At the very least, dereliction of duty.

  168. ds55 says:

    Whoa-Ho! The church runs the hospital? And Parnell belongs to the church? This sounds like a big, fat scandal to me.

  169. Gindy51 says:

    “Wow, it looks like Sarah Palin is one heck of a prolific fundraiser — for the left, that is.”

    I know I donate to leftie causes when ever they invoke her name.
    Defenders of WIldlife gets major dinero from me every time they slap her ugly face on a request.

  170. LiladyNY says:


  171. honestyinGov says:

    9 pvazwindy Says:
    July 15th, 2009 at 1:41 PM

    Could we get this post over to Huffo
    I posted it on another thread, O T , just now over at Huffpo. The one about the Move On Fundraiser and had AKM’s link back to here.
    There are about 5 other stories going there… put the Mudflats link in as many as possible.

  172. zyggy says:

    Lee Says:
    July 15th, 2009 at 1:40 PM

    Palins church is greatly entrenched in the health care system in Alaska, and I think they run the hospital.

    I read that Parnell is a member of her church, and if this is correct, I wonder if he’ll address it. Entrenched you say? As in they help to create this snafu?

  173. KaJo says:

    You all might be interested in this little snippet of good news from Greg Sargent’s blog at The Plum Line:

    MoveOn Fundraising Email Invoking Sarah Palin’s “Lies” Brings In $100,000 In One Day

    Wow, it looks like Sarah Palin is one heck of a prolific fundraiser — for the left, that is.

    A fundraising email that MoveOn blasted out yesterday afternoon calling for cash to counter Palin’s “lies” on climate change has brought in more than $100,000 in 24 hours, a MoveOn spokesman confirms to me.

    MoveOn blasted out the call for cash in response to Palin’s Op ed in the Washington Post attacking Obama’s cap and trade plan as an “enormous threat to our economy.”

    “This is the same Sarah Palin who doesn’t believe climate change is caused by humans,” MoveOn’s fundraising email read. “Now she’s positioning herself as the face of the conservative attack against clean energy.”

    “Sarah Palin’s lies could sink our hopes for a clean energy economy,” the email continued, calling on members to chip in money to “fight back against Palin’s false claims.”

    Palin’s political action committee raised some $200,000 for her in the ten days after she resigned as governor of Alaska. MoveOn’s claim of $100,000 in one day means her attacks on Obama’s cap and trade bill raised half that amount — for her opponents — in one day.

    Says MoveOn’s spokesman: “It is still pouring in — at a good rate.”

  174. KaJo says:

    I wonder if Sean Parnell has enough insight to realize that his administration will echo that of President Obama’s — as AKM said, his predecessor is leaving him with quite a mess to clean up.


    I don’t think it’s any coincidence that the findings of the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services detect deadly problems within the state agencies for those they should be serving going back a full 2-1/2 years — and the period of time the “title” of governor has been bestowed on Palin is 2-1/2 years (sarcasm over word in quotation marks intended).

    I can see Palin sitting down the very first week of her administration, saying to her crack team of assistants and advisors, “I want to build a reputation as a “fiscal conservative, so….What can we get rid of? What can we pare down to minimal cost? Who can we give pink slips to?”

    From what I’ve seen since January, DSHS/Medicare/Medicaid services aren’t the only ones that got butchered.

  175. London Bridges says:

    Did Sarah appoint the person in charge? Were they fully experienced and qualified or what their qualification that they liked “old” movies? I’m not trying to be funny.

    I’ve always felt that when a person applies for a job or runs for office they should be held accountable for being qualified and competent to perform the duties of that job.

  176. SunSweet says:

    Horrible news for the elderly and disabled in Alaska! You would think having Trig would make SP an advocate for the disabled… I can just hear SP’s tweets and press releases. I’m sure she will try to blame the “Feds” and PO for this disaster.

  177. marzapan says:

    Shannyn Moore just tweeted that the legislature’s special session is scheduled for August 10th–more to follow.

  178. sandra in oregon says:

    Discussions about the parental consent should be kept separate from the elder care problem. I realize that SP’s focus was on the consent, but what was happening within the health department that they were not investigating deaths and had such waiting times? Why did the director leave? Were his hands tied? Is there no legislative watch dog or ombudsman to take care of this?

    There may be some disconnect in the services so the appropriate people weren’t notified. Maybe the AARP or another advocacy group can get involved. With the moratorium, there will be more deaths.

  179. nebraska mudflatter says:

    Thanks for getting this point up so quickly. I can’t bring myself to personally blame $P for this situation, but what is striking is the seeming lack of attention to it. Her office should have had a press release about it before it hit the blogs.

    Here in Nebraska one State hospital for adults with severe developmental disabilities was finally shut down because the federal government finally refused to give any more money to the State because of the sheer number of violations of patients rights that had been documented. This has been a HUGE issue for the last 9 or 10 months, patients have died and the Governor has been directly involved in very contentious and complex discussions with families of residents, consumers at large, legislators, the leadership of health and human services here, etc.

    That is one hospital, not the whole system. I can’t imagine $P having the ability to address this. But my thoughts and prayers are with these people and their families, that some justice will come.

  180. redwoodmuse says:

    ack!!! Never write a post when you are shaking with anger. Now I must make corrections. It is not 1000 reported deaths… the actual quote was…

    ‘In one 2 1/2 year stretch, 227 adults already getting services died while waiting for a nurse to reassess their needs. Another 27 died waiting for their initial assessment, to see if they qualified for help.’

    Now, this wasn’t all Sarah’s term (I think) but, I will also note that these are the DOCUMENTED results. Anyone in the field knows that much goes on that is not reported. So, I’ll let my anger stand (even one death because of this is too many) but will correct my facts.

    redwoodmuse – who, for the future, promises to count to 10,000 before posting when she’s fired up

  181. Wurzelhexli says:

    Can you imagine incest, resulting in pregnancy? That girl will have nowhere to turn!

  182. The Rubber Room Hotel says:

    Yup Gino loves Alaska except the the wildlife, starving natives and western Alaskans, flood victims, the environment and clean water in Alaska and now the elderly………

  183. MadasHelinVA says:

    If AK manages to get this legislation passed, it will constitute a situation which would be terribly sad for any young girl who happens to belong to a family that is abusive, frightening and even sadistic.

    That poor girl would have very little choice but to keep her pregnancy secret from her family and pray that her boyfriend would take her to another state so she could persue an abortion, or possibly try to get an illegal abortion somewhere in AK. One thing is absolutely certain, that girl will be so depressed she would think about suicide if the above measures failed. Without her family’s or her boyfriend’s support, she might ‘also’ see suicide as another alternative. Not a pretty scenario for any young girl to go through.

  184. Wurzelhexli says:

    “The “culture of life” seems to have an expiration date that our seniors have passed. ”

    No. IMHO, ‘the culture of life’ stops at birth. Once the baby has seen daylight, nobody in this religious cult of $arah gives a sh*t. Nobody cares if the mother is willing/able/capable of taking care of the baby. The only concern of theirs is *that* the baby will see the day.

  185. UK Lady says:


    This also makes me so angry I could just sit and weep

    Pro-life!, Pro-life my butt, $P and her ilk are no more than bullying control freaks who want the rest of the world to do as they say.

  186. Rob in Ca says:

    Palin undoubtedly had a clear directive to her Public Health Dept: send me good news tidbits for Twitter daily. (oh, there’s bad news? well, fix it, and then send me a Twitter about how good it is!)

  187. sally says:

    redwoodmuse Says:
    July 15th, 2009 at 1:40 PM
    Somebody said you can judge a country (or State) by how it treats the young and the old. This speaks volumes about Sarah.
    Well said! That one sentence sends her charade of “I love Alaska” right down the drain.

  188. The Rubber Room Hotel says:

    redwoodmuse, I so understand your anger and frustration, it is becomming beyond apparent that Gino has not come close to doing the job she was elected to do.
    I really hope that this story goes very main stream, I would just love to hear what her apologists have to say about this.

  189. ds55 says:

    Is this why Pres. Obama invited Lisa Murkowski to the White House?

  190. pvazwindy says:

    Could we get this post over to Huffo?

  191. C. Rock says:

    Alaskans have up to two year to file complaints. $P can not Quit, run and hide. She will be accountable for anything that sticks that she has done while in office. I do believe

  192. Lee says:


    Palins church is greatly entrenched in the health care system in Alaska, and I think they run the hospital.

    Palin only cares about abortion, and has put all her money and effort there.

    It is always all tied up with the church when it comes to Palin, and this is the result.

  193. The Rubber Room Hotel says:

    sorry typo…. in the state.

    I do feel this is very important.
    Gino’s lack of management of our state is becoming very obvious.

  194. pvazwindy says:

    I knew this scandalous story would end up in a thoughtful post. Thanks AKM.

  195. redwoodmuse says:

    Oh, I can’t tell you how angry this makes me. I spent 7 years taking care of elders. Sarah Palin should be ashamed of herself. It takes a lot for the Federal Government to step in. Some of the families of those who died should be filing wrongful death suits naming Sarah Palin, who has once again demonstrated that she has no compassion, leadership, or governing abilities. I hope the Citizens and the Legislature hold her accountable.

    Remember the bumperstickers ‘My (son, brother, lover, friend) died because Bush lied.’?

    How about ‘ Palin has no respect for her Elders’ ? or ‘1000 deaths on Palin’s Watch’ ?

    She needs to be held accountable. To spend her time trying to pass a parental notification bill (in my world, there is a good reason a pregnant teen doesn’t tell the parents) instead of dealing with a real crisis ending in deaths and putting elders at risk clearly shows Palin’s lack of human feeling. There have been times I’ve felt a sort of pity for her caught up in a game that is way beyond her skills and comprehension, but this has put me over the top. This is her responsibility. Her firing of Bev W. shows she is/was willing to intervene and take responsibility. She needs to take responsibility for those oldsters dying. Please Alaska, make it so.

    I’m sorry to be so incoherent, but I’m so angry about this I can barely type. Somebody said you can judge a country (or State) by how it treats the young and the old. This speaks volumes about Sarah.


  196. The Rubber Room Hotel says:

    Thanks AKM,
    I commented on this in the open thread this today.
    Again I would really like to know how other departments is the state are doing with this lack of management.

  197. zyggy says:

    I read that article earlier today, and I was wondering why other depts within the state of AK were not addressing the issue of the elderly. If this was happening under my watch, sure, I’d do the same as Bible Spice, quit and run. Of course I wouldn’t by why wasn’t anyone doing anything before hand? Does Bible Spice have all her friends working in the state and told them to not to do anything?

  198. C. Rock says:

    Great post AKM

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