Klobuchar, Collins Call On Congress To Make Fighting Alzheimer’s Disease An Urgent National Priority
November 21, 2013
Senators introduce bipartisan Resolution calling for a doubling of research funding by 2015, with goal of effective treatments by 2025
In speeches on the Senate floor, Klobuchar and Collins discussed the groundbreaking work of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester
Washington, DC—Citing the devastating emotional and economic toll that Alzheimer’s disease takes on more than five million Americans and their families, U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Susan Collins (R-ME) unveiled a bipartisan Senate Resolution declaring that the goal of preventing and effectively treating Alzheimer’s by 2025 is an “urgent national priority.” The Resolution, which was introduced during Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month, recognizes that dramatic increases in research funding are necessary to meet that goal and resolves that the Congress should strive to double the amount of funding the United States spends on Alzheimer’s research in 2015, as well as develop a plan to meet the target of $2 billion a year as recommended by the experts on the federal Alzheimer’s Advisory Council.
“I’ve heard from countless Minnesotans about the pain and struggle of losing a loved one to this devastating disease,” said Klobuchar. “The emotional and financial toll Alzheimer’s takes on patients, their families, and our health care system is simply staggering and we can and must do more to address it. That’s why we’re making a commitment to tackle Alzheimer’s head-on by investing in research to develop more effective treatments—treatments that one day may lead to a cure.”
“Like many families who have experienced the pain of Alzheimer’s, I know that there is no more helpless feeling than to watch the progression of this devastating disease. Alzheimer’s disease is the only cause of death among the top ten in our nation without a way to prevent it, cure it, or even slow its progression,” said Collins. Collins explained that if our nation fails to change the current trajectory of Alzheimer’s disease, our country will not only face a mounting public health crisis, but an economic one as well. Senator Collins added, “At a time when the cost to Medicare and Medicaid of caring for Alzheimer’s patients is $142 billion a year, we are only spending slightly more than $500 million on Alzheimer’s research. Surely we must do more for Alzheimer’s research given the tremendous human and economic price of this devastating disease.”
The Resolution has also been endorsed by the Alzheimer’s Association and US Against Alzheimer’s, leading national advocacy groups.
Since 1983, the year that President Reagan declared the month of November as “Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month,” the number of Americans who suffer from the disease has more than doubled. Based on current projections, as many as 16 million Americans over the age of 65 will have the disease by 2050. In addition to the human suffering it causes, Alzheimer’s costs the United States more than $200 billion a year. If nothing is done to slow or stop the disease, the Alzheimer’s Association estimates that the disease will cost the United States and astonishing $20 trillion over the next forty years.
For broadcast-quality video of Senator Klobuchar speaking on the Senate floor about the resolution click here