Alzheimer's Funding: An Assault on Health Care Costs

Huffington Post

Huffington Post

By George Vradenburg

"A year ago, the broad Alzheimer's community received unfortunate news. President Obama had called for an additional $80 million for the National Institute of Health's (NIH) Alzheimer's research, but the President's request found tough sledding in Congress.Objections were raised about using funds that had been re-allocated from different public health prevention efforts.

Today, it seems that the politics of Alzheimer's are improving. The Senate Appropriations Committee has recently approved a bill that includes an $84 million increase in funding for the National Institute on Aging (NIA), the NIH institute that bears the primary responsibility for funding Alzheimer's research. No uproar over the funding sources has ensued. This marks progress.

Nevertheless, the improving politics of Alzheimer's must now contend with the fractious politics of debt, deficits and austerity. If history is any guide, the differences of opinion between the Senate and the House regarding overall budget levels may run this Appropriations bill aground. Congress has shown a tendency to ignore regular-order appropriations bills in favor of flat-funding Continuing Resolutions and across-the-board spending reductions through the sequester."

Read George Vradenburg's full piece on the Huffington Post here.

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