“If we’re the kind of nation that cares for its citizens and supports families, respects our elders, and takes care of our neighbors, then we’ve got work to do. And we need to do better when it comes to diseases like Alzheimer’s.”
HILLARY CLINTON, DECEMBER 22, 2015
Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States and is the only cause of death in the top 10 that we cannot currently prevent, cure, or even slow. With the American population aging, the overall number of people suffering from Alzheimer’s is expected to grow almost threefold to nearly 15 million Americans—and could cost more than $1 trillion per year—by 2050.
Hillary Clinton is proposing a groundbreaking commitment to preventing, effectively treating, and making a cure possible for Alzheimer’s disease by 2025. Her plan will:
Invest $2 billion per year in research for Alzheimer’s and related disorders. This past year, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) invested $586 million in Alzheimer’s research, less than 1 percent of the annual cost of this disease. As part of a new investment in NIH, Hillary would rapidly ramp up our investment to $2 billion—the amount leading researchers have determined is necessary to prevent and treat the disease and make a cure possible by 2025.
Ensure a reliable stream of funding between now and 2025. Just as important as increasing our investment, Hillary will fight to make funding predictable and reliable between now and 2025 so that researchers can work consistently toward effective treatments and pursue long-term research that will pay off down the road.
Establish a plan of action with leading researchers and health experts. Hillary will appoint a top-flight team to oversee this initiative and will consult regularly with leading researchers to ensure progress toward ending Alzheimer's. At each stage, her plan will embrace a range of approaches to discovering and advancing effective treatments.
Hillary understands the enormous weight that Alzheimer’s disease imposes on a growing number of Americans and their families. To help alleviate the burden, Hillary’s plan will:
Cover comprehensive Alzheimer’s care-planning services and help coordinate care among physicians. Beyond the difficulty of planning for Alzheimer’s care, the disease complicates the management of other conditions. The simple act of sitting down together—primary physician, patient, and caregiver—to map out a treatment plan can have a positive impact on a patient’s health. Under Hillary’s plan, Medicare will cover comprehensive Alzheimer’s care-planning sessions, as well as the cost of properly documenting every diagnosis and care plan.
Help protect loved ones who wander. At least six in 10 Alzheimer’s sufferers will wander from home at some point in a state of profound disorientation—leaving them vulnerable and potentially unsafe. Hillary will work with Congress to reauthorize the Missing Alzheimer’s Disease Patient Alert Program, a cost-effective federal program with a reported 98 percent success rate in finding individuals reported missing.
Ensure our seniors are aware and can take advantage of their Medicare benefits. Although Alzheimer’s cannot yet be cured, proper diagnosis and treatment can make a vital difference in quality of life—and allow patients to play an active role in planning for their future. Hillary will direct the Social Security Administration to raise awareness about the wellness visits, cognitive screenings, and other preventive benefits covered by Medicare.
Hillary’s plan builds on her a long record of working across the aisle on behalf of patients and families dealing with Alzheimer’s disease. In the U.S. Senate, she consistently pushed for greater funding for Alzheimer’s research, including federally funded stem cell research. She also co-chaired the Congressional Task Force on Alzheimer’s Disease and introduced legislation to restore funding for the Alzheimer’s Association 24/7 Contact Center and for Alzheimer’s disease demonstration grants.