May 22, 2009

Alzheimer's Advocacy Health Care Reform

By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

I received the following email from the Alzheimer's Association. It is complete with the links.

If you have time please get involved. Use the links.

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As a result of our April action to increase support for the Ending the Medicare Disability Waiting Period Act of 2009 (S.700 / H.R.1708), 35 additional members of Congress have become co-sponsors! We now have 73 and counting. View the list of members who have already co-sponsored the bill here.

To date, Members of Congress have made the following commitments to our issues:
  • 194 indicated support to end the two-year waiting period for Medicare;
  • 204 indicated support for a $250 million increase in Alzheimer research funding; and
  • 68 indicated support the creation of an Alzheimer’s Solutions Project Office.
  • 65 members indicated support for all 3 issues!
What Can I Do Now?

Join your fellow advocates May 25-29 as we visit US House members in their District offices. The focus of this month’s visits is increasing federal Alzheimer research funding by $250 million.

Contact your chapter to join or start a visit team.

Emerging Issue: Health care Reform

The talk in Washington, DC is all about health care reform. Our position is that health care reform cannot be passed without improvements to care for persons with Alzheimer’s disease.

The Association is heavily involved in efforts on Capitol Hill and in national coalitions, pushing for Alzheimer-specific changes. Most recently, we submitted comments to the healthcare reform proposal outlined by the Senate Finance Committee and will continue to stay active in this debate.

We are focusing on making sure that these reforms include: care coordination services for people with Alzheimer’s disease as part of Medicare; ending the Medicare 2-year wait; and improving long-term services and supports. (Care coordination is a person-centered approach that brings together medical and community care and includes: a personal needs and goals assessment, a care plan, and care managed by a trained care coordinator or interdisciplinary team.)

We will continue to update you on our health care reform efforts.

Advocate in Action:
Dick Lundgren
Western & Central WA Chapter

Questions? Email:

Earlier this month, Alzheimer Advocate Dick Lundgren was honored with a 2009 Older Volunteers Enrich America Community Champion Award. A joint award of the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a) and the MetLife Foundation, it honors the exemplary contributions of older volunteers and promotes volunteering among older adults nationwide.

His wife Dorothee’s diagnosis of early-onset Alzheimer’s disease and his role as primary caregiver led Dick to become involved in the Alzheimer’s Association. Dick raises awareness about Alzheimer’s disease by serving on his chapter's Public Policy Committee and has attended the Public Policy Forum in Washington, DC. He is currently working with state elected officials to draft Alzheimer-specific legislation. He also volunteers with support groups and MemoryWalk.

We congratulate Dick on this award and thank him and hundreds of other advocates for their support of the mission.

More About the Alzheimer's Reading Room

Bob DeMarco is the editor of the Alzheimer's Reading Room and an Alzheimer's caregiver. Bob has written more than 1,565 articles with more than 8,000 links on the Internet. Bob resides in Delray Beach, FL.

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Original content Bob DeMarco, the Alzheimer's Reading Room