As Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other legislators consider a Medicare-for-All plan, they must not ignore the five million Americans with Alzheimer’s and dementia.
This is a serious and present issue, with Alzheimer’s deaths doubling in the last ten years. In 2020 alone, Medicaid will spend an estimated $51 billion caring for people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias.
Due to the higher level of care required, the average annual per person Medicare spending for an individual with Alzheimer’s is more than three times higher than average.
If trends continue, by 2050 the number of Americans with Alzheimer’s could skyrocket to 13.8 million and combined Medicare/Medicaid spending on Alzheimer’s will rise to $777 billion, a 278 percent increase.
My grandmother died with Alzheimer's and I saw the devastating effects of the disease on her and on my family as they dealt with the physical, emotional and financial toll of caring for her.
Research toward a cure continues, but while we wait for one, we cannot forget those who struggle with Alzheimer’s and dementia on a daily basis.
Please join me in encouraging AOC to include provisions for Americans with Alzheimer’s and dementia in a Medicare-for-All plan.