On December 19th, S. 2076/ H.R. 4256, The Building Our Largest Dementia (BOLD) Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act, was passed by the House. With the Senate passing its companion measure a week earlier, the bipartisan legislation is now awaiting the president’s signature to be signed into law.
The BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act grew in widespread bipartisan support with 254 House cosponsors and 58 Senate cosponsors — more than half of Congress. The legislation was developed in close partnership between the sponsors, the Alzheimer’s Association and Alzheimer’s Impact Movement (AIM), and unanimously passed the Senate.
When enacted, the new law creates an Alzheimer’s public health infrastructure across the country to implement effective Alzheimer’s interventions focused on public health issues such as increasing early detection and diagnosis, reducing risk and preventing avoidable hospitalizations. The bill authorizes $100 million over five years ($20 million a year) to fund the Act.
On behalf of the more than 5 million Americans living with the disease and the 16 million more providing unpaid care, we are thankful to the bill’s sponsors and the House for passing this important legislation,” said Harry Johns, Alzheimer’s Association and AIM President and CEO in statement.
“Addressing Alzheimer’s as a public health issue will increase early detection and diagnosis, reduce risk and prevent avoidable hospitalizations, leading to better health outcomes,” says Johns.
A Bipartisan Legislative Effort
Adds, Alzheimer’s Association Chief Public Policy Officer, Robert Egge, “Representatives on both sides of the aisle came together today to meaningfully address a growing public health crisis when the House passed the Building Our Largest Dementia (BOLD) Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act (H. 4256). He noted that “Millions of Americans and their caregivers look forward to this bill being signed in to law, which will allow effective Alzheimer’s public health interventions to be implemented across the country. We are grateful to the bill sponsors and cosponsors for their steadfast commitment to support all those affected by this devastatingly common disease.”
“The facts are stark—Alzheimer’s disease is now the sixth-leading cause of death in the U.S. and the number of Americans projected to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s will double by 2050. As co-founder and co-chair of the Congressional Task Force on Alzheimer’s Disease, I have fought to increase funding of research—and successfully pushed to quadruple funding in the last five years—still, more must be done. Many, many family and friends of Alzheimer’s patients sacrifice their time and resources to assist their loved ones—we must ensure they have as much support as possible,” said Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), who introduced H. 4256 with his House colleagues, Brett Guthrie (R-KY), Paul Tonko (D-NY) and Maxine Waters (D-Calif).
Ramping Up the Nation’s Efforts to Fight Alzheimer’s
“The BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act would ramp up our national efforts to fight Alzheimer’s by creating Alzheimer’s Centers for Excellence—a policy I have long called for—and by increasing our data collection and improving our reporting. I am proud to support this legislation,” says Smith.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, the Association and AIM and its nationwide network of advocates have held thousands of meetings to grow support for the BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act. Health care organizations, state public health agencies and nonprofits including the National Lieutenant Governors Association, the Georgia Department of Health, the National Association of County and City Health Officials, and the Caregiver Action Network have expressed their support for the BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act.