The Alzheimer's Foundation of America (AFA) provides periodic advocacy updates designed to give a brief overview of AFA's advocacy efforts and legislative activity
ALZHEIMER’S FOUNDATION OF AMERICA STATEMENT ON PROPOSED $25 MILLION INCREASE FOR ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE IN FY’15 FEDERAL BUDGET
NEW YORK (December 10, 2014)—The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA), a leading national nonprofit organization dedicated to providing optimal care for people with Alzheimer’s disease and their families, issued the following statements to Congressional appropriators, whose proposed fiscal year (FY) 2015 budget includes a $25 million increase for Alzheimer’s disease research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Statement from Bert Brodsky, AFA’s board chairman:
“The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) commends the efforts of Congressional appropriators in elevating the importance of Alzheimer’s disease research in the FY’15 federal budget. This proposed funding increase will help propel our country toward achieving a core goal of the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease: to find a cure or meaningful treatment for the disease by 2025. While AFA appreciates the proposed $25 million increase, especially during this time of fiscal restraint, we are hopeful that this modest increase will pave the way for greater funding in Alzheimer’s disease research and care in future budgets—funding that is more in line with investments in other chronic disease states.”
Statement from Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr., AFA’s president and CEO:
Simply put, we can and must do more to confront the growing health crisis that is Alzheimer’s disease. Currently, Alzheimer’s disease, which results in loss of memory and other intellectual functions, affects more than 5 million Americans and is the only leading cause of death with no cure or treatment. That number is expected to nearly triple by mid-century, as the Baby Boomer generation continues to reach the at-risk age of 65. Consistent with those estimates, a recent report finds that as these baby boomers age, the financial burden of Alzheimer’s disease on the United States will skyrocket from $307 billion annually to $1.5 trillion.
Congress and the Administration have taken the initiative in adopting the national Alzheimer’s plan and setting ambitious, but achievable goals. Adequate resources are necessary, however, if we are to achieve these goals and make meaningful progress toward eradicating Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.”
AFA Urges Constituents to Speak Up About Alzheimer’s Disease During Election Season
Members of Congress have left Washington to return to their districts to campaign before the November mid-term elections. This gives constituents tremendous leverage: it’s a perfect opportunity to get commitments from sitting members of Congress and their election challengers. Politicians, moreover, will be more visible on the campaign trail, providing opportunities for constituent contact at district offices, parades, festivals, coffee klatches, town hall meetings, and campaign debates. AFA urges all Alzheimer’s disease stakeholders to take advantage of these opportunities and engage our federal representatives.
To help aid in your advocacy, below are talking points to support issues of importance for people living with dementia and their family caregivers that are currently before Congress:
Support increases at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for Alzheimer’s disease research:
We urge members of Congress to support the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, HHS and Education’s $100 million funding increase for Alzheimer’s disease.
Support reauthorization of the Older Americans’ Act:
AFA supports reauthorization of OAA programs at sufficient funding levels to support the growing number of individuals living with dementia and their family caregivers.
AFA Presses for Legislative Advances in Second Session of 113th Congress
AFA looks forward to working with Congress, the Administration and Alzheimer's disease stakeholders to ensure that a meaningful increase in Alzheimer's disease funding becomes a reality in FY '15 and moves the nation closer to attaining the ambitious, yet essential, care-and research-related goals of the "National Plan to Address Alzheimer's Disease."
AFA's 2014 Legislative Recommendations:
AFA hopes the modest increase in Alzheimer's disease spending in FY '14 will pave the way for greater funding in Alzheimer's disease research and care in the future that is more in line with investments in other chronic disease states. AFA is asking Congress for $500 million in additional resources, for a total of just over $1 billion for Alzheimer's disease research and enhanced investments for caregiver supports in the FY'15 budget.
Efforts are already underway in the Senate to ramp up funding for Alzheimer's disease research and caregiver services. Senators Collins (R-Maine) and Klobuchar (D-Minn.) have introduced S. Res. 303, a resolution calling on the Senate to make fighting Alzheimer's disease an urgent national priority and to increase funding to $2 billion by FY '19.
We urge all Alzheimer's stakeholders to contact their Congressional delegations in support of AFA's legislative priorities. You can reach your members of Congress by calling the Capitol Hill switchboard at 202-225-3121. Don't know who to contact? Visit www.contactingthecongress.org.