Funding Alzheimer’s Research
The FY 2017 Omnibus spending bill, signed into law on May 5, 2017, includes $400 million in additional funding for Alzheimer’s research. This legislation brings the total annual funding for Alzheimer’s/dementia research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to nearly $1.4 billion, which is a 40% boost to current funding levels.
Next, we will work to secure robust funding for Alzheimer’s research and federal programs that improve and expand access to care in the FY 2018 appropriations bills.
Protecting the Affordable Care Act
On May 4, 2017, the House of Representatives narrowly passed the American Health Care Act with several amendments that would undermine the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This bill will harm Californians by:
- Slashing Medicaid funding, forcing the California to cut services, restrict eligibility and reduce benefits.
- Putting access to long-term services and supports at jeopardy.
- Charge older Californians more.
- Eliminate protections for people with pre-existing conditions.
The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration and is expected to return to the House. We need to continue to advocate and educate our Members of Congress.
The Affordable Care Act has implemented important benefits for people living with Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Some of those benefits include:
- Free annual Medicare wellness visit that includes a cognitive assessment
- Expanding coverage of Medicare prescription drugs to eliminate the “donut hole”
Health insurance companies cannot refuse coverage based on pre-existing conditions, which protects people with early-onset dementia from discrimination.
In addition, ACA funding has supported work here at Alzheimer’s Greater Los Angeles such as our award winning Dementia Cal Medi-Connect project. Thanks to this funding, our staff has trained case managers at health plans in the greater Los Angeles area to better serve people with dementia and their caregivers.
But we will only be successful in our advocacy efforts if you speak up. We need YOU to tell the new President and Congress to support the programs our families rely upon every day and to fund the Alzheimer’s research that our scientists need to find a cure. So keep your eye out for our AlZGLA advocacy emails and then pick up the phone, send an email, or make a visit to your Member of Congress to tell them we are relying on them to lift our families up, not pull the rug out from under their feet.
For more information about the impact of the Affordable Care Act on people with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia, please read the Leaders Engaged on Alzheimer’s Coalition issue brief here.