Legislative Advancement on National Alzheimer's Project Act

Dec 01, 2010, 10:38 ET from Alzheimer's Association

Alzheimer's Association Statement

WASHINGTON, Dec. 1, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As the leading care, research and advocacy organization for Alzheimer's disease, the Alzheimer's Association® is pleased by a significant step forward in the fight against Alzheimer's disease. Today, the Association commends the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee for passing the National Alzheimer's Project Act (NAPA) (S. 3036).  Led by Committee Chairman Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) and ranking member Senator Michael Enzi (R-WY), committee members signaled their understanding of the fundamental need for a coordinated federal approach to confront one of America's most feared and costly disease by passing this legislation.

Today there are more than 5 million Americans living with this disease and this number is expected to soar to as many as 16 million by mid-century without the discovery and development of effective treatments. Building on the recommendations of the Alzheimer's Study Group, an independent, bipartisan panel created to evaluate the government's current efforts to combat the disease, NAPA would create a national strategic plan for the Alzheimer's disease crisis. It would also establish an inter-agency council to work with the Secretary of the Health and Human Services to comprehensively assess and address Alzheimer research, care, institutional services and home and community based programs. NAPA would ensure strategic planning and coordination of the fight against Alzheimer's across the federal government as a whole.

"This legislation has been one of the top priorities for the Alzheimer's Association for some time and enacting NAPA has been the focus of the thousands upon thousands of Alzheimer advocates from across the country. On behalf of the millions of people living with Alzheimer's and the millions more at risk for developing this fatal disease in the future, the Alzheimer's Association is grateful that an essential framework for overcoming this disease is now within our sights," said Robert J. Egge, the Alzheimer's Association Vice President of Public Policy. "In addition to the devastation faced by families, the economic toll on the nation is simply unsustainable. Total care costs will soar from $172 billion this year to more than $1 trillion by 2050 if we don't act today. Passage of this critical legislation is essential to stemming the tide for the fiscal foundation of the country."

The Alzheimer's Association applauds Senators Evan Bayh (D-IN) and Susan Collins (R-ME) and Representatives Ed Markey (D-Mass) and Christopher Smith (R-NJ) for introducing this important legislation. The Association is also grateful to Senators Harkin and Enzi and members of the Senate HELP Committee for shepherding it through to this stage in the legislative process. Most importantly the Alzheimer's Association would like to thank the advocates who worked tirelessly to help bring the legislation this far, and who are determined to keep working with the Association until it is signed into law.

The Alzheimer's Association joins with the millions of Alzheimer families today in urging full passage of this critical legislation in the U.S. Senate.

Alzheimer's Association

The Alzheimer's Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer care, support and research. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer's disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer's. For more information, visit www.alz.org.

SOURCE Alzheimer's Association