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Public Policy Victories

The Alzheimer's Association has a successful history of bringing people together to tackle the challenge of Alzheimer's disease. Our advocate network, together with the Association, is responsible for the following public policy victories.

The President signed the RAISE Family Caregivers Act to address the needs of our nation's family caregivers through the development and implementation of a coordinated national strategy.
In May, Congress passed and the President signed a historic $400 million increase for Alzheimer’s research funding at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the FY2017 budget.
In December, Congress passed and the President signed into law the 21st Century Cures Act, legislation with a goal of accelerating the discovery, development and delivery of new cures for all diseases including Alzheimer’s and other dementia. The legislation includes $1.6 billion for BRAIN Initiative and an additional $1.5 billion for the Precision Medicine Initiative. The legislation also includes the EUREKA Act which will help to advance research breakthroughs for Alzheimer’s disease, and encourage public-private partnerships.
In November, The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized its decision to pay for cognitive and functional assessment and for care planning services with a professional for those with Alzheimer’s, other dementia and cognitive impairment. The decision by CMS came following the rapidly growing support our advocates and staff have generated for the Health Outcomes, Planning and Education (HOPE) for Alzheimer's Act in Congress.
In December, Congress passed and the President signed into law the Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 Omnibus Appropriations Bill, which included a $350 million increase for Alzheimer’s disease research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This is the largest annual increase ever in federal Alzheimer’s research funding – a nearly 60% increase
In July, the first Professional Judgment Budget for Alzheimer's research was released by the National Institutes of Health, proposing to the U.S. Congress the continuation of a rapid ramp-up in Alzheimer's research funding. This budget is a direct result of the Alzheimer's Accountability Act, an Alzheimer's Association priority.
The 40th state in the country published a state Alzheimer’s disease plan.
In December, Congress passed and the President signed into law the Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 Omnibus Appropriations Bill, incorporating the entirety of the Alzheimer's Accountability Act into the legislation. This legislation calls for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to submit a Professional Judgment Budget for Alzheimer's disease research each year until 2025 to achieve annual research milestones established under the National Alzheimer's Plan.
Legislation is passed and signed which provided an additional $122 million in the FY14 budget for Alzheimer's research, education, outreach and caregiver support. This included $100 million for research, $20 million more than was in the President's FY14 budget request.
The 40th state enacted the Uniform Adult Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Jurisdiction Act (UAGPPJA) which establishes a framework for courts in different states to communicate about adult guardianship cases.
The Director of the NIH, Dr. Francis Collins provided $40 million from the Director's budget for additional Alzheimer's research, which he announced at the annual Advocacy Forum.
The Federal District Court of Vermont approved the proposed settlement agreement in the Jimmo v. Sebelius class action lawsuit which sought to end the application of the “improvement standard” as the basis for Medicare coverage decisions for skilled therapies. The Alzheimer's Association was a plaintiff in the class action lawsuit and supported the settlement agreement.
The first-ever National Alzheimer's Plan was released by the administration in May 2012. In connection with the plan's release, Alzheimer's received an additional $50 million in federal research funding during the fiscal year.
One of the Association's top legislative priorities, the National Alzheimer's Project Act (S.3036), was signed into law.
The two-year waiting period for Social Security Disability (SSDI) for those diagnosed with younger or early onset Alzheimer's disease is eliminated. This change provides expedited access to SSDI and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
Advanced a new Medicare benefit that includes the detection of cognitive impairment as part of the annual wellness visit beginning January 2011.
For the first time, the decennial Healthy People Report included objectives for Alzheimer's and other dementias underscoring the growing public health threat they pose to the nation.
Ensured that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act contained provisions to help people with Alzheimer's disease, their families and their caregivers, such as a federal long-term care insurance program.
Secured an additional $10 billion for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act ("stimulus bill"). Of the $5 billion awarded so far, the NIH has invested $77 million in Alzheimer's grants. The Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative was among the studies to receive funding.
Established the leading standard of quality for nursing homes and assisted living by offering practice recommendations and training for professional providers, as part of our Quality Care Campaign.
Gained inclusion of Alzheimer's medicines in Medicare's Drug Formulary (covered drugs).
Won passage of Medicare's Part D Drug Benefit, which went into effect in 2006.
Secured rehabilitation benefits for Medicare beneficiaries with Alzheimer's disease so individuals were no longer denied this coverage.
Won passage of the Family Caregiver Support Program, included within the Older Americans Act. The program supports a number of community-based programs, including respite care, adult day care, counseling services and caregiver training.

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Our vision is a world without Alzheimer's
Formed in 1980, the Alzheimer's Association is the world's leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer's care, support and research.