Dr. Al Gross is running as a one-issue candidate. On the Democratic ballot as an independent for Alaska’s U.S. Senate seat, Gross wants to reform healthcare. He said that he does not want to take away the choices that exist now, but he does want to add a new choice because private healthcare is so expensive, especially in Alaska where costs are some of the highest in the county.
“It’s really hurting a lot of people to live here in the state”, said Gross, “and keeping businesses from moving here. So I would very much be in favor of letting individuals and small businesses have the choice. And if they want to buy Medicare directly, they should have that right. It would be so much cheaper, and I think it would really help open up our economy.”
Gross said that this is Medicare as a “public option,” not the “Medicare for all” being championed by progressive Democrats. Gross claims that is neither a Republican nor a Democrat, though he says he is mostly a Republican when it comes to economic issues, except in the area of healthcare.
“I’m fiscally conservative, I don’t believe government should get into people’s personal, private lives at all, I’m not going to take anybody’s guns, and I believe in strong and enforceable immigration policies. I think all of those are to the right of the Democratic platform. But the Republicans have completely bailed when it comes to healthcare or when it came to controlling the pandemic,” Gross said.
Gross, who grew up in a political family, is not a politician. He has spent his life as a doctor working as a surgeon and running health organizations. This U.S. Senate bid is his first campaign for any political seat, although he argues that does not mean he has not been a leader in his profession.
“No, I’ve never run for office because I’ve always been a doctor,” said Gross. “But I think I’m very, very qualified to step in, and there is nothing in the Constitution that says you have to be a career politician to run for the United States Senate.”
Gross said that he does not support either the Pebble or the Donlin mines, but would support communities working with mining companies to see if they can come to a compromise that both the community and he could support.
Gross made his comments on Coffee@KYUK. Listeners can find the entire interview on KYUK’s website.