Well, I first would like to thank my colleague, Senator Collins, for her great leadership for so long on this issue. We have together authored this resolution, and she has been a true champion of those suffering from this debilitating disease.

Our resolution builds on the legacy of work and research that has been done in America. It declares the prevention and effective treatment of Alzheimer's by 2025 an urgent national priority and calls for enhanced resources necessary to achieve this goal. And there is no better time than now to discuss this critical issue and draw attention to this disease because, as my colleague from Maine noted, November is Alzheimer's disease awareness and family caregivers month. President Reagan made this designation back in 1983 to raise awareness about the devastating impacts of Alzheimer's disease on patients and their caregivers. Alzheimer's presents one of the toughest medical, economic and social challenges of this country.

We all know we're seeing a doubling of the senior population in this country. Some call it a silver tsunami. Of course, it's a positive. More and more people are living longer and longer. But we also know that we are seeing more and more people who are living with very difficult diseases, and one of them -- in fact the leading one is Alzheimer's. This disease takes an incredibly enormous toll, both on patients as well as those who must sit hopelessly by and watch as the disease progresses and slowly takes away a loved one.

Right now, close to 5.2 million Americans are living with this disease, including nearly 100,000 people in my home state of Minnesota. These numbers will grow dramatically if we continue on the same trajectory that we are on now, by 2050, an estimated 16 million Americans will be living with this disease. That is an increase, Mr. President, of almost 320% over what we see today. 320% over what we see today.

The financial cost of providing care for people afflicted by the disease is staggering, for families, for our health care system and of course for the federal budget. In 2013, we will spend $203 billion caring for individuals with Alzheimer's. Medicare and Medicaid will bear about 70% of these costs. By 2050, we will be paying more than $1.2 trillion to care for people with Alzheimer's.

We also know that it's tough on caregivers. They suffer an emotional and physical toll that results in a higher incidence of chronic conditions themselves. In 2012, more than 15 million family members, spouses, children and friends in the United States provided care to an adult with Alzheimer's. The unpaid care is valued at more than $216 billion. So many of the people, friends of mine, who are involved in this care also have their own children. That's why we call them the sandwich generation. They are literally sandwiched in between caring for their aging parents and caring for a child. Just as the country addressed the needs of working moms and dads in the 1970's, we must now address the needs of working sons and daughters. This is a critical piece of the puzzle in taking on the Alzheimer's challenge.

Most importantly, our resolution is about the lives that could be improved with better treatments and cures. Earlier this year, i met with 30 Minnesotans who were here in Washington, D.C., each having been touched by Alzheimer's. I have been at rallies. I have seen those purple shirts in our state, thousands and thousands of people gathered to say we want to cure, we want better treatment, we don't want to lose our loved ones like this.

One way we can help stem the tide of this devastating disease is through research. As my colleague from Maine mentioned, the mayo clinic does fine research in these areas. They have found ways to identify Alzheimer's earlier through testing. At first you might say well, how does that help to get a cure? How are we ever going to know what treatments work best and what a cure is if we can't first identify it at early stages so then we can see improvements? Because if we identify it too late, you're never able to test to see if treatments work. University of Minnesota also is doing outstanding research on mice, prize-winning research.

Here's the fact of any of these numbers. We all remember this isn't just about the numbers. It's about the people. But if there is any number to remember, it is this -- if we were able to delay the onset of Alzheimer's by just five years, five years, we would be able to cut the government spending on Alzheimer's care by almost half in 2050, almost half. I see Senator Durbin, also a leader in this area, the Senator from Illinois, out on the floor. He knows what we're talking about with the budget. The kind of money we're going to need to help our kids, to make our country a better place. Just think of what we could do with that money, if we could reduce the spending on this debilitating disease by half by 2050.

The answers on Alzheimer's won't just drop from the sky. It will take dedicated scientists, advanced research initiatives and skilled doctors to conduct the trials and care for as many patients as possible until we finally put an end to the disease. That's what this is about. 

A friend of mine is in town today, Commissioner Mike Opeck from Hennepin county. Hennepin County is the biggest public hospital in Minnesota. As county attorney, I used to represent that hospital. I know what this means for their budget every single day as people who could have been cured or people who could have had the onset of this disease be delayed have suffered and have been in the hospital and have been on the taxpayer dime. Of course we're going to take care of them, but so many other things could this money be used for.

The advisory council on Alzheimer's research care and services, which is led by Dr. Ronald Peterson, a Minnesotan and a leading researcher on Alzheimer's, has acknowledged that in order to reach the bowl of effectively treating Alzheimer's disease by 2025, our country must invest $2 billion per year. It sounds like a lot of money, but not with these other figures I just put out there, right, at $1.2 trillion in treatment, doubling of the number of seniors that were seen by 2030. $2 billion per year.

That's why Senator Collins and I have joined together to introduce this resolution which resolves that the senate will strive to double the funding the united states spends on Alzheimer's research in 2015 and develop a plan to meet the target of $2 billion a year over the next five years. Today, we spend approximately $500 million per year on Alzheimer's as noted by my colleague, so we have a long way to go to meet this goal. It is not easy, but in the long term, it will save us money, it will save lives, and it will make for a better world for literally millions of people in this country and around the world. I urge my colleagues to join Senator Collins and me in supporting this important resolution. Thank you, Mr. President. I yield the floor.