This week, the Obama Administration launched a National Alzheimer's Plan to help the more than 5 million Americans with Alzheimer's disease and their 15 million caregivers. Consisting of funding for clinical research, provider education and outreach, data collection, a public awareness campaign, and proposed funding for caregiver support, the plan provides needed investment and vision towards effectively preventing and treating the disease by 2025.
Policymakers should continue to explore and implement solutions for long-term care delivery and financing to ensure Americans with Alzheimer's and their families are afforded quality care in all settings. The number of people with Alzheimer's continues to grow, and spending on the disease is expected to exceed $1 trillion by 2050. Now is the time to seek solutions for American families by investing in quality care and research.
Additionally, policymakers should focus on improvements to the Medicare program. Rather than considering harmful cuts to benefits and increases in cost-sharing for families who can least afford them, including those with Alzheimer's, they should secure Medicare's future as a health and economic lifeline for these beneficiaries and their families.
The National Alzheimer's Plan is a good step forward. It falls to Congress to ensure that it receives the funding necessary to achieve the Plan's important goals. The Center for Medicare Advocacy will continue to fight to protect and improve the Medicare program for the millions of beneficiaries with Alzheimer's disease, and their caregivers.
As part of the National Alzheimer's Plan, a new website has been launched for information and resources about Alzheimer's disease, including important answers about Medicare coverage. The site can be found at www.alzheimers.gov.