End this epidemic killer now!!!

Dear Editor:
Our Nation is faced with a killer disease that is the ONLY ONE of the leading causes of death in our country, without a way to prevent, cure, or slow its progression. This is Alzheimer’s disease—the most expensive disease in America! I have just returned from DC, along with 1300 other Ambassadors/Advocates representing every State, to both educate Congress and share the alarming facts/figures currently released by the Alzheimer’s Association. As we “stormed the Hill” and made our Purple Presence known to Representatives, Senators, and their staff, the momentum to gain support for crucial funding and legislative actions from Congress continued in all our visits.

With hopes that Congress maintains its commitment to Alzheimer’s research, a request for an additional $414 million in Fiscal Year 18(FY18) was made. This is consistent with the Alzheimer’s Bypass Budget issued by the National Institutes of Health.  In 2017, the cost of caring for those with Alzheimer’s will total an estimated $259 billion. Total Medicare spending on people with Alzheimer’s is 1 in every 5 dollars and by 2050 will be 1 in every 3 dollars. “Alzheimer’s staggering $259B cost could break Medicare – Forbes 3/17/17”

The average annual Medicaid spending for a senior with Alzheimer’s disease is 23 times greater than the average across all other seniors($349-Senior without Alzheimer’s–$8,182—Senior with Alzheimer’s disease). As one can see, Alzheimer’s creates an enormous strain on both State and Federal budgets.  Additionally, we requested that both Chambers Co-sponsor the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act (PCHETA(S.693/H.R 1676) that was reintroduced again this Congress. This legislation would ensure an adequate, well-trained palliative care workforce through workforce training, education and awareness, and enhanced research.

Alzheimer’s kills more than Breast Cancer and Prostrate Cancer combined.

More than 5 million Americans are living with this disease and by 2050; this number could rise as high as 16 million. Deaths from Alzheimer’s increased 89 percent from 2000 to 2014, while deaths from other major diseases (including heart disease, stroke, breast and prostrate cancer, and HIV/AIDS) all decreased. As a Caregiver for nearly 16 years, I was among the more than 15 million Americans that provide unpaid care for people with Alzheimer’s or other dementias. In 2016, 18.2 Billion Hours of care valued at over $230 Billion was provided by these Caregivers. This disease is the 6th leading cause of Death in the United States. Every 66 Seconds someone in the United States develops this disease.  Approximately 200,000 individuals today under the age of 65 are living with Alzheimer’s in the United States. Nearly two-thirds of those with Alzheimer’s are women.

For more information go to:  www.alz.org/facts  and become an advocate!


Rosita McGovern,

Public Policy Ambassador for Congressman Donald Payne Jr. ( NJ- 10), Greater Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association