- Mark McDowell
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Support the National Alzheimer’s Project Act in Congress
By 2050 – just 40 years from now — nearly 16 million Americans will be afflicted with Alzheimer’s Disease. Surprisingly, there is not yet a national plan to deal with this looming crisis, although one has been proposed on Capitol Hill. The National Alzheimer’s Project Act (NAPA) would establish an inter-agency advisory council to address the government’s efforts on Alzheimer’s research, care, institutional services, and home- and community-based programs. S.B. 3036 and H.R. 4689 would create a government agency to exclusively deal with Alzheimer’s issues.
Co-sponsored by Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO), Birch Bayh (D-IN), Susan Collins (R-ME), Russ Feingold (D-WI) and Jon Tester (D-MT), the proposal would create a special office within the White House to coordinate research, clinical care and services with the goal of preventing, caring for and curing Alzheimer’s Disease.
“Alzheimer’s takes a tremendous emotional and financial toll on over 75,000 Coloradans and their families,” according to Bennet. “Yet our nation’s healthcare system is not set up to appropriately coordinate and share the research we’re doing to prevent, cure and care for our patients. This bill will streamline the country’s research efforts so that we can better find ways to combat this disease while also making much better use of our taxpayer dollars.”
Approximately half of Americans who live to 85 will suffer from Alzheimer’s. Once the legislation is passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate, the Office of the National Alzheimer’s director would be named to the Domestic Policy Council and the Office of Science and Technology. This director would have input into all policy aspects of the disease, as well as focus on high-risk groups and those underserved by existing Alzheimer’s programs.