We have witnessed the bipartisan leadership in Congress to increase funding for Alzheimer's disease and related dementia research. We are also seeing the same commitment in the care and support arena. The Health Outcomes, Planning, and Education (HOPE) for Alzheimer's Act (S. 857/H.R. 1559) was introduced in the U.S. Senate by Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Susan Collins (R-ME), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and Ed Markey (D-MA) and in the U.S. House of Representatives by Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ-04), Paul Tonko (D-NY-20), Peter Roskam (R-IL-06) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR-03).
Since its introduction, the bipartisan bill, which would ensure Medicare beneficiaries newly-diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias and their families receive comprehensive care planning services, has garnered 57 cosponsors in the Senate and 301 cosponsors in the House of Representatives. Building on this progress, in June the Senate Labor-HHS Appropriations Subcommittee, in a bipartisan effort, included the HOPE for Alzheimer's Act in its FY2017 funding bill. And just a few weeks ago, CMS proposed that it would begin to pay for cognitive and functional assessment and care planning for patients with Alzheimer's disease and other cognitive impairments.
While we have seen great progress, our work is not done. Our advocates will continue to fight to ensure that HOPE is realized. And we will continue to work with our champions in Congress to get us across the finish line.
Check out the latest op-ed by AIM President and CEO Harry Johns in The Lansing State Journal highlighting the work of one of our Congressional champions on HOPE, Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI).
Rachel Conant is the Political Director of the Alzheimer's Impact Movement.