Alzheimer's Foundation of America e-Newsletter
February 16, 2012
 Volume 5 Issue 4

President's Budget Ups Spending for Alzheimer's Disease, but Cuts Back on Medicare and Medicaid  

  The White House 

President Obama on Monday released his budget proposal for fiscal year (FY) 2013 that sets aside $76.4 billion, $300 million more than last year, for funding the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Included, as announced last week, is an additional $80 million for clinical research for Alzheimer's disease at the National Institutes of Health and $26 million for caregiver support.

   According to the Adminstration, the proposed research funding, coupled with an additional $50 million announced last week for FY 2012, comprises a total of $130 million in new Alzheimer's disease funding, an increase of 25 percent over the current research investment.

   Other programs that assist families coping with Alzheimer's disease also received slight bumps in the FY 2013 budget. The Alzheimer's disease demonstration grants under the Older Americans' Act will increase $5 million to a total of $9 million, and $1 million will go toward the Missing Alzheimer's Disease Patient Alert Program.

   The President's budget, however, also calls for cutting Medicare and Medicaid spending by $364 billion over 10 years.

   In addition to $267 million in healthcare provider cuts, some seniors could see a rise in out of pocket costs under the budget's Medicare proposals. It would require wealthy seniors to pay a higher share of certain Medicare benefits; charge a co-pay for home health care; and set new limits for supplemental insurance policies known as Medigap plans.  

   The Alzheimer's Foundation of America (AFA) supports the budget increases for Alzheimer's disease research and caregiving that is set forth in the President's budget request.  

   When President Obama first disclosed the funding, Eric J. Hall, AFA's president and CEO, noted, "The Administration's efforts to carve out funds for Alzheimer's disease despite the challenging fiscal environment signals its ongoing commitment to this devastating disease, and helps pave the way for scientific discoveries that can potentially change lives and save lives."

   AFA encourages all stakeholders to contact their Congressional representatives and urge them to preserve and build upon the proposed increases in Alzheimer's research funding and caregiving as Congress draws up its own budget. You can reach your member of Congress through the Capitol Hill switchboard at 202-225-3121.  

 

News to Use:
  • Health insurers will now be required to provide consumers with "clear, consistent and comparable" summary information about their health plan benefits and coverage, and a uniform glossary of commonly-used terms, according to a new rule instituted by the health reform law. This information will be available beginning September 23 upon application and renewal.  
  • In order, it said, to "make one of life's most difficult decisions a little easier," U.S. News and World Report magazine released its list of "Best Nursing Homes for 2012." Rankings were based on ratings from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The 39 nursing homes, out of 15,500 reviewed, that make up the "Honor Roll" were the only facilities to receive four straight quarters of perfect five-star ratings from CMS for health inspections, nurse staffing and quality of care. The magazine suggested that families use research to narrow the list, visit multiple times, and talk to the administrators in order to select a residence.
  • Please vote for AFA's dedicated Web site, www.alzfdn.org, as one of the best caregiver resources on the Web in the "2012 SeniorHomes.com Best of the Web" competition. Nominations are due by February 28 and can be submitted using Facebook, Twitter or e-mail. Click here to learn more.
 News Update
  • Skin cancer medication reduces amyloid plaques in mice...  When researchers administered a medication, bexarotene, used to treat cutaneous T cell lymphoma, a type of skin cancer, in mice, they found that it reduced amyloid plaques, the hallmark proteins found in people with Alzheimer's disease, by 50 percent within just 72 hours. Furthermore, according to the authors, bexarotene stimulated the rapid reversal of cognitive, social and olfactory deficits, and improved neural circuit function.  Read More...   
  • Researchers suggest "virus" theory...According to new research in mice, tau protein, a hallmark of Alzheimer's disease, may be spreading from cell to cell in mice genetically altered to carry the human version of the gene for tau--similar to the way a virus would spread. This research has not yet looked at whether the mice show cognitive impairment, and the mice did not have amyloid plaques in their brain, the other important aspect of Alzheimer's disease pathology.  Read More...         

 

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2012 Alzheimer's Foundation of America
In This Issue
President's Budget Ups Spending for Alzheimer's Disease, but Cuts Back on Medicare and Medicaid
News to Use
The Latest in Alzheimer's News

AFA recently announced the formation of a Legacy Society, which offers special recognition to individuals who have included AFA in their wills or estate plans. Information about AFA's new Legacy Society is available at

www.alzfdn.org or by contacting AFA at 866.232.8484 


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