The Senate will soon hold hearings to determine if Georgia Congressman Tom Price will be our country’s next Secretary of Health and Human Services. As HHS Secretary, this cabinet position has a direct impact on how the Trump Administration prioritizes the fight to end Alzheimer’s, a cause close to my heart.
I am an Alzheimer’s advocate and former care partner for my mom who passed away in 2014 from complications due to Alzheimer’s, the 3rd leading cause of death in our state. I know firsthand the heartache of this disease – what it’s like to lose someone in pieces before they are truly gone. It pains me to know that as of 2016 an estimated 5.4 million Americans have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and millions more loved ones will become witnesses to the devastation it brings.
With Alzheimer’s ranking as well as the most expensive disease in America, costing an estimated $236 billion in 2016, more than half of that $160 billion coming from Medicare and Medicaid, we clearly need to make more progress in the fight against it. By 2050, the number of people with the disease is set to nearly triple, and costs are projected to more than quadruple to $1.1 trillion.
It is crucial during the confirmation hearings, that Sen. Murray and Sen. Cantwell ensure that Congressman Price will continue to follow the recommendations of the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease that was first released in 2012 after a Congressional mandate in 2010. The plan’s goal: prevent and effectively treat Alzheimer’s disease by 2025.
Clearly the fight against Alzheimer’s, a bipartisan battle, continues to deserve legislative attention and support. It will likely impact either your life or the life of someone you know if we don’t continue making progress.
Please join me in contacting Sen. Cantwell and Sen. Murray to urge their support during the hearings and throughout the New Year. Help be a part in bringing hope to the millions of Americans living with and being affected by this disease.