LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Alzheimer’s fight must be funded

As we enter the start of a new Congress and a new Administration, the Alzheimer’s Association’s Congressional Team of West Texas will be looking for leaders on Capitol Hill to maintain our progress in the fight to end Alzheimer’s because we cannot afford to lose any ground.
Alzheimer’s is the most expensive disease in America, costing an estimated $236 billion in 2016 – with more than half of that coming from Medicare and Medicaid. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, by mid-century, the number of people with the disease is set to nearly triple, and the costs of Alzheimer’s disease are projected to more than quadruple to $1.1 trillion.
Despite the sobering statistics, we feel a great deal of hope in our battle against this disease. The fight against Alzheimer’s has been a source of unity among Democrats and Republicans. Congress came together to pass the Alzheimer’s Accountability Act of 2014 and, in 2015, Congress passed a $350 million increase for Alzheimer’s disease research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Importantly, a $400 million increase was pending before the 114th Congress for FY17, and will now need action by the 115th Congress. That’s a great place for Democrats and Republicans to come together to start the new-year with hope and optimism for the millions of Americans living with and affected by this disease.
We would like to welcome our area Congressmen; U.S. Rep. Mike Conaway along with U.S. Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, back to office and ask that they along with their staff prioritize this action on Alzheimer’s disease, and I encourage my fellow Texans to remind President Trump and Congress of their commitment to continue the progress we’ve made against this disease.
Visit ALZ.org for more information and to get involved.