Capitol Hill Listened!!
This week the US Senate Appropriations Committee took an important step to address the rapidly expanding Alzheimer's epidemic. Thanks in part to your advocacy, Senate leaders from both parties spoke to the importance of investing now to address the skyrocketing costs of this devastating disease.
On Tuesday the Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies voted to include $104 million for Alzheimer's disease in its fiscal year 2014 funding bill. And earlier today the full Senate Appropriations Committee also voted to support this increased funding for essential research and caregiver support.
Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), chairman of the subcommittee and honoree at this year’s Alzheimer’s Association Advocacy Forum, referred to Alzheimer’s disease research as a “crucial investment” that’s a priority “on both sides of the aisle.” The chairman urged swift consideration of the bill by the full Senate. His thoughts were echoed by other Senators including Ranking Member Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), chair of the full committee.
There are currently more than 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer's disease and that number is poised to grow to as many as 16 million by 2050. Caring for Alzheimer's is this country's most expensive disease !
It costs our nation $203 billion annually in care of the individual with this disease. By 2050, the cost is estimated to reach $1.2 trillion annually. Yet today, for every $27,000 Medicare and Medicaid spend on caring for individuals with Alzheimer's, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) spends only $100 on Alzheimer's research!!
Later this year the full U.S. Senate may have the opportunity to vote on this legislation.
So please let your U.S. Senators know how you feel on this matter. Please ask your U.S. Senators to support this crucial funding!
James F. Lawrence, Ph.D. APRN BC FAANP
State UAPRN President