Congress needs to take BOLD action against Alzheimer’s

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It is time we change our thinking on Alzheimer’s disease. Too often Alzheimer’s and other dementias are treated as an aging issue, ignoring the public health consequences of a dise4ase that someone in the U.S. develops every 66 seconds.

With two-thirds of its annual costs being borne by Medicare and Medicaid, it is an issue that demands more attention from our government.

While I personally have not lost a loved one to Alzheimer’s, I have encountered many individuals and family members lost or suffering by Alzheimer’s as a retired physician.

In Idaho, there area 21,000 individuals living with Alzheimer’s and 81,000 Idahoans providing care to someone living with Alzheimer’s. I understand the physical and emotional cost of the disease.

Congress has a chance to take decisive action, passing the Building Our Largest Dementia (BOLD) Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act (S. 2076/H.R. 4256) endorsed by the Alzheimer’s Association. This new build would create an Alzheimer’s public health infrastructure across the country to implement effective Alzheimer’s interventions like increasing early detection and diagnosis, reducing risk and preventing avoidable hospitalizations.

Alzheimer’s is the most expensive disease in the U.S. The nation currently spends $259 billion a year on Alzheimer’s, which is why we need this new approach. If we are going to end this disease, then we must start treating it like the public threat it is.

Join me is asking Congressmen Raúl Labrador and Mike Simpson to co-sponsor the BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act.

JIM ARTHURS

Sandpoint

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