Today's Top Alzheimer's News
Nobel prize winners slam funding cuts for U.S. medical research, a new study finds delaying aging may have a bigger payoff than fighting disease, and Alzheimer's caregivers keeping tabs on the Affordable Care Act (read more).
- An October 8, 2013 Times Live article reported that US Nobel laureates "slammed recent spending cuts at the National Institutes of Health, the biggest funder of scientific research in the world." According to the scientists, "At a press conference in New Haven, Connecticut, Nobel winner Rothman also criticised NIH spending cuts and said he probably would not have started his research had NIH funding not been available. He said over the past few years, NIH funding, which "has made America the great engine of biomedical discovery" and fuelled the US biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, had fallen significantly, when accounting for inflation."
- An October 7, 2013 NPR article reported on a study published in Health Affairs that offered "statistical evidence that delaying aging in people would extend life expectancy even more than would a decline in cancer or heart disease." According to the article, "If the process of aging could be delayed, all of the diseases associated with aging, whether cancer or stroke or Alzheimer's, would occur later in life than they do now. The idea is that people would not only live longer, they'd be healthier for longer." Also covered by Scientific American.
The Affordable Care Act
- An October 7, 2013 California Health Report article highlighted the impact of the Affordable Care Act on Alzheimer's caregivers. According to the article, "Ruth Gay, the director of public policy and advocacy for the Northern California Alzheimer’s Association, said her agency has been watching closely as the Affordable Care Act progresses. Benefits for the elderly so far include better prescription care coverage, which started this year. More benefits are expected, including a mandatory screening for Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia as part of routine care for people over 65.“For a lot of seniors that doughnut hole is a big piece we were interested in – many of them were hitting it very early on,” Gay said.The doughnut hole Gay is referring to is a gap in prescription coverage under Medicare Plan D. In 2013, patients on Medicare Plan D can accrue up to $2,970 in out-of-pocket and insurance payments before they go into the “doughnut hole.” The ACA is slowly eliminating the doughnut hole. Now, when patients reach the $2,970 limit, they get a 50 percent discount on brand-name medicines and 14 percent on generics until they reach an out-of-pocket expense total of $4,750. At that point they pay 5 percent of prescription costs for the remainder of the year."