Ziegler: Where do candidates stand on Alzheimer’s? (letter)
As our political parties work to determine their nominee for the 2016 presidential election, it is critical that we ask candidates where they stand on Alzheimer’s disease. Considering the triple threat that Alzheimer’s poses with its soaring prevalence, enormous cost and lack of treatment, it is an urgent issue that merits attention as the next presidential debate occurs here in Colorado, and beyond.
New national polling by the Alzheimer’s Association shows that voters view Alzheimer’s disease as a significant political priority for the 2016 congressional and presidential elections. 82 percent of voters nationwide are concerned about Alzheimer’s disease and 64 percent say that they would be more likely to vote for a presidential candidate who has pledged to support a major national research effort to fight Alzheimer’s. I count myself as one of those voters.
Here in Colorado alone, more than 65,000 people are living with the disease, according to the Alzheimer’s Association, and that number is on a trajectory to grow by more than 41% in the next decade. Already the most expensive disease in the nation, the cost of Alzheimer’s to the nation is on a path to quadruple to more than $1 trillion by 2050, bankrupting Medicare in the process.
We must increase funding for Alzheimer’s research and better support the families currently affected. With the Republican presidential debate hosted at nearby University of Colorado-Boulder on October 28, I will be listening closely to learn about where presidential hopefuls stand on Alzheimer’s and their plan to end this dreaded disease.
Practice manager of the Ebert Family Clinic in Frisco, as well as the federal ambassor for the Denver chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.
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