A Message From Washington Worth Sharing
BY ERIN STEIN
Executive Director, The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement
With so much noise coming out of Washington D.C. these days, you may not have heard about the important efforts underway in the Alzheimer’s space.
On February 6, U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) introduced a bi-partisan Senate resolution declaring that the goal of preventing and effectively treating Alzheimer’s disease by 2025 is an “urgent national priority.”
The announcement came one week after the two senators lead a bipartisan letter urging the president to increase funding for Alzheimer’s research in his fiscal year (FY) 2019 budget request. In the letter, which you can read here, Collins and Klobuchar stressed to the president that Alzheimer’s is a “devastating disease that exacts a tremendous personal and economic toll on the individual, the family, and our society,” costing the nation more than $259 billion a year.
“At a time when the United States is spending more than $200 billion a year to care for Alzheimer’s patients, we are spending less than two thirds of one percent of that amount on research,” the senators wrote. “Although we have made progress in increasing funding, Alzheimer’s research funding remains disproportionately low compared to its human and economic toll. Indeed, similarly deadly diseases receive annual funding of $2 billion, $3 billion, and even $6 billion for research, which has paid dividends. Given the tremendous human and economic price of this devastating disease, we can do more for Alzheimer’s.”
Sen. Collins, who is the founder and co-chair of the Senate Alzheimer’s Task Force, is also among four senators who introduced the BOLD Act in November 2017. Short for Building Our Largest Dementia Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s, this bipartisan legislation would create a public health infrastructure to combat Alzheimer’s disease and preserve brain health.
The legislation would apply a public health approach to Alzheimer’s disease by establishing a modern infrastructure for the prevention, treatment, and care of Alzheimer’s and related dementias. It would be headed by the Centers of Disease and Prevention (CDC). You can read more details here.
As some of our leaders in Washington work to advance our nation’s commitment to Alzheimer’s, this is an important moment for us all to lend our voice to their efforts.
Write or call your congressman and ask them to support an increase in Alzheimer’s research funding. Ask them to support the BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act. Speak up and let’s beat the drum together on this critical issue. Doing so is an important step toward making Alzheimer’s a national priority.
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