The Feds VS. Alzheimer’s Disease

Ten other nations have Alzheimer plans. More than half of our states are working on plans. But the federal government has no plan at all.

Taken from an article that appeared in the Huffington Post

By Harry Johns, President and CEO of the Alzheimer’s Association

A new report released this week by the Alzheimer’s Association called “Changing the Trajectory of Alzheimer’s Disease: A National Imperative,” shows just how much this disease also threatens the financial security of Medicare and Medicaid………………..

This year caring for people with Alzheimer’s disease will cost Medicare and Medicaid $122 billion. By mid-century it will cost, in today’s dollars, over $800 billion. When you factor in the costs to others—the out-of-pocket costs to patients and families, the costs to private insurance and HMOs, and the costs of uncompensated care to health care providers–cumulatively over the next 40 years and without taking into account inflation, caring for people with Alzheimer’s disease will cost the American people $20 trillion. That’s enough to pay off the entire U.S. federal debt today and then send a check for $20,000 to every man, woman and child in America with money left over……………………

This is where we are today. Not only has the federal government done little about the existing and unfolding Alzheimer crisis, it has no idea what is going to be done about it. The federal government has no comprehensive plan for how to avoid this disastrous future. It has no plan for adequate strategic research to develop the treatments necessary to save lives and to save the trillions that will be spent through Medicare and Medicaid. It has no plan on how to care for 13.5 million – and as many as 16 million – Americans with the disease by mid-century. It has no plan to have the needed nursing home beds or to expand home- and community-based services.

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