UsAgainstAlzheimer’s Maintains Opposition to Medicaid Cuts and Weakening of Patient Protections in Senate Bill

WASHINGTON, DC, July 13, 2017 – Following the release of the revised Better Care Reconciliation Act, UsAgainstAlzheimer’s maintains its opposition to any legislation that would reduce access to affordable care for millions of low-income, elderly and sick Americans, and may weaken protections for many Americans with or at risk of Alzheimer’s, a disease that has no cure and one that often goes misdiagnosed. 

In addition to preserving the devastating cuts to Medicaid in the original Senate bill released last month, the new Senate bill would allow insurers to offer lower-cost plans that do not have critical patient safeguards guaranteed under the Affordable Care Act. For UsAgainstAlzheimer’s, an organization urgently pressing for policies that enhance Alzheimer’s care, this provision is also a non-starter. 

“The deep and long-term cuts to the Medicaid program preserved in this version of the Senate health care bill undermine 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. “We must also be incentivizing people with dementia symptoms to seek medical attention and important brain health assessments, which may ultimately improve care planning or participation in medical research. The Senate bill would weaken these efforts.”

If the bill was enacted, the implications on Medicaid enrollees would be striking. 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, such as bathing, dressing, preparing meals and managing medication.

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, and it will reject any legislation that may reduce protections for people with or at risk of Alzheimer’s or related dementias.   

###

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: 202-263-2580Email: ttassa@usagainstalzheimers.org

^ Back to Top