Think it Over: A Message from CEO Bill Fisher

If you are on our advocacy list (and you should be), you’ve heard from us about NAPA, the National Alzheimer’s Project Act. This week, NAPA was signed into law by the President’s.

Alzheimer’s is a national crisis with 5.3 million afflicted — 5.1 million aged 65 and older — with a cost to Medicare and Medicaid of $122 billion annually, a number expected to climb to $805 billion by 2050 as Boomers age into the at-risk group.

We have focused our professional and volunteer efforts on creating a place in the Federal government to bring together all the relevant federal agencies for an ongoing conversation about how to overcome Alzheimer’s disease. The agency is tasked with creating a National Alzheimer’s Disease Plan, similar to the one California is developing. They are required to update and report to Congress annually and to establish an inter-agency Advisory Council to coordinate and evaluate all federal efforts on Alzheimer’s disease research, care, institutional services and home- and community-based programs.

In short, it gives us a table at which to have the important national conversation about Alzheimer’s and to regularly assess our efforts as a country. You and I know these efforts are currently inadequate. For every $25,000 we spend on Medicare and Medicaid for those with Alzheimer’s disease, the government spends less than $100 on Alzheimer’s disease research.

Of course, what we want is more funding for Alzheimer research. But having a place in our federal government for this discussion will be strategic progress on this path. Thanks for your response to our emails asking for your engagement, and if for some reason we’ve missed you, join us at alz.org.

Wm H. Fisher, william.fisher@alz.org