Washington, D.C. – Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva today announced his full support for H.R. 4689, the National Alzheimer’s Project Act. In co-sponsoring the bill, he said, he hopes to “bring federal agencies together for a coordinated push against one of the most severe and underestimated diseases in this nation.” The announcement comes as Grijalva meets with constituents in District 7 this week to discuss health care reform and other important issues.
The bill would create an interagency advisory council to better organize federal efforts on Alzheimer’s research, care, institutional services, and home- and community-based programs.
“Caregivers and Alzheimer’s patients need significant, targeted support at the federal level, and this bill is a way to give them that support,” Grijalva said. “Our current patchwork of medical research and assisted living programs has not sufficiently addressed the issue. Alzheimer’s and dementia cost this country about $172 billion each year in medical expenses, and as we begin to implement our new health care legislation we should consider how to start tackling these costs head on.”
Grijalva sits on the Bipartisan Congressional Task Force on Alzheimer’s Disease and has co-sponsored several related bills, including:
•HR 2987 – The Cure and Understanding through Research for Alzheimer’s Act of 2009, which ensures sufficient resources for activities relating to Alzheimer’s disease and Hispanic communities.
•HR 3286 – The Alzheimer’s Breakthrough Act of 2009, which authorizes appropriations for conducting and supporting research on Alzheimer’s disease through fiscal year 2014.
•HR 4123 – The Alzheimer’s Treatment and Caregiver Support Act, which authorizes grants to public and nonprofit private health care providers to expand treatment services for patients with Alzheimer’s disease, and funds training and support services for patients’ families and caregivers.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, at least 5.3 million Americans currently have Alzheimer’s, including at least 97,000 Arizonans. The state figure is projected to increase to at least 110,000 by 2020.