National Alzheimer’s Project Act
Alzheimer’s Association Statement
As the leading research and advocacy organization for Alzheimer’s disease in the United States, the Alzheimer’s Association commends Senators Mel Martinez (R-FL) and Evan Bayh (D-IN) for their recognition of the escalating Alzheimer threat.
By introducing the “National Alzheimer’s Project Act” (S. 1555) they signal their understanding of the fundamental need for a coordinated federal approach to confront one of America’s most feared and costly diseases.
Today there is no one government entity whose sole purpose is to mount a full campaign against Alzheimer’s disease which, without the discovery and development of effective treatments, is poised to strike 10 million baby boomers over the coming years. Building on the recommendations offered by the Alzheimer’s Study Group (ASG), an independent, bipartisan panel created to evaluate the government’s current efforts to combat the disease, this legislation creates a National Alzheimer’s Project Office within the Office of the President. Drawing on the expertise residing in various government agencies, this office would provide strategic planning and coordination of the fight against Alzheimer’s across the federal government as a whole.
In addition to the devastating impact on families, Alzheimer’s also threatens the nation’s health care system because of its significant costs. According to the Alzheimer’s Association’s 2009 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report, total healthcare costs are more than three times higher for people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias than for other people the same age without the disease. If nothing is done to stop this disease, the government will spend nearly $20 trillion to care for those with Alzheimer’s between today and the middle of the century. America simply cannot afford this human, social and economic burden.
On behalf of the millions of people living with Alzheimer’s and the millions more at risk of developing it in the future, the Alzheimer’s Association is grateful for the leadership of Senators Martinez, Bayh and all of the original cosponsors of this legislation which, if enacted, would play a significant role in addressing the rapidly mounting Alzheimer crisis.