Alzheimer's is the most expensive disease in America, costing an estimated $355 billion in 2021. By mid-century, as the number of people living with the disease is set to nearly triple, the costs to our economy are projected to reach more than $1 trillion, with two-thirds of these costs paid by Medicare and Medicaid. Congress has recently provided additional funding for Alzheimer's research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), yet a greater investment is still needed. AIM and our advocates continue to grow bipartisan support for increased research funding. Congress must increase Alzheimer’s and dementia research funding by $289 million in fiscal year 2022.
In December 2018, Congress overwhelmingly passed the bipartisan BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer's Act (P.L. 115-406). The law directs the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to strengthen the public health infrastructure across the country by implementing effective Alzheimer's interventions focused on public health issues such as increasing early detection and diagnosis, reducing risk, and preventing avoidable hospitalizations. The BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer's Act will accomplish this by establishing Alzheimer's and Related Dementias Public Health Centers of Excellence, providing funding to state, local, and tribal public health departments, and increasing data analysis and timely reporting. Congress must fully fund the BOLD Act at $20 million a year.
Comprehensive dementia care has been shown to reduce costs while providing better quality care. Unfortunately, dementia care management programs have not developed within the current Medicare fee-for-service system. The bipartisan Comprehensive Care for Alzheimer's Act (S. 1125 / H.R. 2517) would ask the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) to test a different payment structure for dementia care management
An estimated 11 million Americans are providing unpaid care to someone living with dementia, and they need our support. While providing this assistance can be rewarding it's also quite challenging for the caregiver to sustain. The bipartisan Alzheimer’s Caregiver Support Act (S. 56/H.R.1474) would provide much needed relief for our nation’s dementia caregivers.
Since its founding in 1999, the bipartisan Congressional Task Force on Alzheimer’s Disease has worked to advance research and public awareness of Alzheimer’s and all dementia by bringing the disease to the forefront of the congressional agenda. The Task Force has been instrumental in helping advance policies to improve the lives of all those impacted by Alzheimer’s. Join us in encouraging all members to join this important task force.