U.S. House Passes Bipartisan Alzheimer's Public Health Legislation

The Building Our Largest Dementia Infrastructure (BOLD) for Alzheimer's Act Expected to be Signed Into Law

WASHINGTON, D.C., December 19, 2018 – The Building Our Largest Dementia (BOLD) Infrastructure for Alzheimer's Act (S. 2076/H.R. 4256), legislation championed by the Alzheimer's Association and the Alzheimer's Impact Movement (AIM) was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives today. Introduced in November 2017 by Representatives Brett Guthrie (R-Ky.), Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.), Chris Smith (R-N.J.) and Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), the legislation will improve the country's response to the growing Alzheimer's public health threat.

“On behalf of the more than 5 million Americans living with the disease and the 16 million more providing unpaid care, we are thankful to the bill's sponsors and the House for passing this important legislation,” said Harry Johns, Alzheimer's Association and AIM President and CEO. "Addressing Alzheimer's as a public health issue will increase early detection and diagnosis, reduce risk and prevent avoidable hospitalizations, leading to better health outcomes."

The BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer's Act grew in widespread bipartisan support with 254 House cosponsors and 58 Senate cosponsors — more than half of Congress. The legislation was developed in close partnership between the sponsors, the Alzheimer's Association and AIM, and unanimously passed the Senate.

“Over 5 million Americans have Alzheimer's, and sadly, that number is only expected to go up. I have met with countless Kentuckians who either know someone with Alzheimer's, or they themselves are suffering with Alzheimer's. I, too, have had family members suffer from this debilitating disease. I want to thank the many advocates who are leading the charge against Alzheimer's. This bill would not have been successful without you. I look forward to seeing this bill signed into law so we can provide relief for people suffering from Alzheimer's,” said Rep. Guthrie.

“This bill promises to improve the lives of those suffering from Alzheimer's and reduce the public health burden of this disease on our communities,” said Rep. Tonko. “Building on our success in past Congresses with the Alzheimer's Accountability Act and the HOPE for Alzheimer's Act, this bill represents another giant step forward, driving investments in Alzheimer's infrastructure that will advance public health research and promote prevention, early detection and diagnosis all leading to lower costs and better care. I'm proud to celebrate this bill's passage alongside my fellow Alzheimer's champions and look forward to seeing this important legislation signed into law.”

The progression of the bipartisan BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer's Act is an important step to address the public health crisis posed by Alzheimer's and prioritizing our nation's approach to the disease. When signed into law the BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer's Act will create an Alzheimer's public health infrastructure across the country to implement effective Alzheimer's interventions focused on public health issues such as increasing early detection and diagnosis, reducing risk and preventing avoidable hospitalizations.

“The facts are stark—Alzheimer's disease is now the sixth-leading cause of death in the U.S. and the number of Americans projected to be diagnosed with Alzheimer's will double by 2050. As co-founder and co-chair of the Congressional Task Force on Alzheimer's Disease, I have fought to increase funding of research—and successfully pushed to quadruple funding in the last five years—still, more must be done. Many, many family and friends of Alzheimer's patients sacrifice their time and resources to assist their loved ones—we must ensure they have as much support as possible,” said Rep. Smith. “The BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer's Act would ramp up our national efforts to fight Alzheimer's by creating Alzheimer's Centers for Excellence—a policy I have long called for—and by increasing our data collection and improving our reporting. I am proud to support this legislation.”

“I am delighted that Congress passed the BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer's Act. We introduced this innovative bill to promote early detection and diagnosis, support caregivers, and reduce health disparities related to the care and treatment of Alzheimer's patients. The passage of this bill marks a historic victory in the fight against Alzheimer's. I will continue to advocate for this and other legislative efforts that improve the lives of the more than 5 million Americans who are living with this devastating disease,” said Rep. Waters, Co-Chair of the Congressional Task Force on Alzheimer's Disease.

Alzheimer's Association®

The Alzheimer's Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer's care, support and research. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer's disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer's. For more information, visit alz.org.

Alzheimer's Impact Movement
The Alzheimer's Impact Movement (AIM) is the advocacy arm of the Alzheimer's Association. AIM works to develop and advance policies to overcome Alzheimer's disease through increased investment in research, enhanced care and improved support. For more information, visit alzimpact.org.

Contact:
Laura Cilmi, 202.638.8673, [email protected]