Letter to the Editor: Save now, pay later

“Save now. Pay later.” is an expression that we hear constantly and it could not be truer than in the fight for a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. The most recent information indicates that 5.3 million Americans have Alzheimer’s and that the disease is the sixth leading cause of death nationally. The $153 billion spent treating these patients is the largest expense incurred by our Medicare system and is projected to grow to more than $1 trillion as our population ages in the coming decades.

Congresswoman Cheri Bustos has been a leader in fighting to improve the lives of those with Alzheimer’s, consistently advocating for increased funding for research and care. She is also a sponsor of H.R. 1559, the HOPE for Alzheimer’s Act, which will ensure than Medicare provides comprehensive care planning services for those who receive a diagnosis.

While taxpayers pay more to treat Alzheimer’s than any other disease, less than 2 percent of the NIH’s research budget is spent on finding an Alzheimer’s cure. I am writing to encourage Bustos to continue her excellent work by supporting increases in the National Institutes of Health (NIH) budget for funding to cure Alzheimer’s. Doing more now will reduce costs and improve the quality of life for generations to come.

Nancy Rainwater

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