Senate Must Protect Medicaid for Millions of Low-Income and Older Americans with Alzheimer’s or Related Dementias

WASHINGTON, DC, June 26, 2017 – In response to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) analysis that 22 million Americans would lose coverage by 2026 under the Senate plan, UsAgainstAlzheimer’s opposes any bill that would severely restrict access to essential medical and care services for individuals with dementia and their families.

According to the CBO, implications on Medicaid will be significant: spending would decline by 26 percent and enrollment would fall by 16 percent by 2026.

“The deep and long-term cuts to the Medicaid program proposed by the current version of the Senate health care bill undermines access to care and support for low-income families grappling with Alzheimer’s, a disease that can cost families between $41,000 and $56,000 annually,” said George Vradenburg, UsAgainstAlzheimer’s Co-Founder and Chairman. “One in four individuals with Alzheimer’s or dementia relies on Medicaid to help cover a range of services including home- and community-based assistance like bathing, dressing, preparing meals and managing medication.”

Last week, UsAgainstAlzheimer’s signed on to a letter facilitated by the Alliance for Aging Research, specifically calling upon Senate leaders to strengthen, not weaken Medicaid. The letter said, “On behalf of the millions of American families facing Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, we implore you to build upon, rather than dismantle, Medicaid expansion.”

“We stand ready to work with you to develop policies that will ensure people with [Alzheimer’s and related dementias] and their family caregivers have access to a robust coverage that provides affordable and comprehensive benefits.”

While a majority of people with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias receive home-based care, often uncompensated from family members, many people with dementia are also cared for in adult day centers, assisted-living facilities and nursing homes given the intensive assistance needed. However, assisted living ($43,200 annual average) and nursing home care ($80,300 annual average) are very costly. With the number of Americans living with Alzheimer’s projected to grow to approximately 8 million by 2030, Medicaid will play an increasingly important role in supporting families.

UsAgainstAlzheimer’s will continue to earnestly champion efforts that improve Medicaid benefits for Americans who are coping with the daunting burden of this disease. 

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UsAgainstAlzheimer's is an innovative, patient-centered non-profit demanding – and delivering – a solution to Alzheimer’s. Driven by the suffering of millions of families, UsAgainstAlzheimer’s presses for greater urgency from government, industry and the scientific community in the quest for an Alzheimer's cure – accomplishing this through its own patient-centered effective leadership, collaborative advocacy and strategic investments.

Founded in 2010, UsAgainstAlzheimer’s has worked across sectors to: (1) secure the national goal of preventing and effectively treating Alzheimer’s by 2025; (2) help secure nearly $1 billion in additional public funding for Alzheimer’s research over the past few years; (3) drive global efforts that resulted in the leaders of the world’s most powerful nations, the G7 group, to embrace a similar 2025 goal and to call for greater levels of research investment and collaboration; (4) transform the system of Alzheimer’s clinical trials for greater speed, efficiency and quality; and (5) forge a global process of industry, regulators and payers to bring greater clarity to the approval and payment of innovative medicines for Alzheimer’s.

Contact: Tim Tassa

Phone: 202-263-2580

Email: ttassa@usagainstalzheimers.org

 

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