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Tonko Alzheimer’s Bill Passes House, Expected to Become Law

House vote follows Senate approval yesterday; bill now goes to President’s desk

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Washington, December 20, 2018 | comments
“This bill promises to improve the lives of those suffering from Alzheimer’s and reduce the public health burden of this disease on our communities.” - Rep. Paul Tonko
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WASHINGTONCongressman Paul D. Tonko heralded passage of his bill S. 2076, the Building Our Largest Dementia (BOLD) Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act, through the House last night by a vote of 361-3. Following its recent approval by the Senate, the bill now heads to the White House for final ratification. If enacted, the bill will support creation of public health infrastructure to combat Alzheimer’s disease and preserve brain health (details below). Tonko introduced the bill in 2017 with Congressman Brett Guthrie (R-KY).

“This bill promises to improve the lives of those suffering from Alzheimer’s and reduce the public health burden of this disease on our communities,” said Tonko. “Building on our success in past Congresses with the Alzheimer’s Accountability Act and the HOPE for Alzheimer’s Act, this bill represents another giant step forward, driving investments in Alzheimer’s infrastructure that will advance public health research and promote prevention, early detection and diagnosis all leading to lower costs and better care. I’m proud to celebrate this bill’s passage alongside my fellow Alzheimer’s champions and look forward to seeing this important legislation signed into law.”

"The BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act is a critical step to improve our response to the Alzheimer’s crisis, a devastating disease impacting millions of New Yorkers and other Americans,” said Alzheimer’s Association Chief Public Policy Officer, Robert Egge. “We are thankful to Rep. Tonko for sponsoring the bill and for his continued work to implement policies to improve the lives of all those affected by the disease.”

This legislation applies a public health approach to Alzheimer’s disease by establishing a modern infrastructure for the prevention, treatment, and care of Alzheimer’s and related dementias. Headed by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), it establishes:

  1. Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias Public Health Centers of Excellence dedicated to promoting effective Alzheimer’s disease and caregiving interventions as well as educating the public on Alzheimer’s disease, cognitive decline, and brain health.  The centers would implement the CDC’s Healthy Aging Public Health Road Map and would take key steps to support health and social services professionals as well as families and communities.
  2. State and Local Cooperative Agreements with HHS that would be awarded to state health departments, subdivisions of states, or tribal entities to develop and carry out Alzheimer’s interventions. These awards would help states build a foundation, and also help those states that are already investing in a public health approach to Alzheimer’s to amplify their initiatives through public-private partnerships.
  3. Data Analysis and Reporting Cooperative Agreements with HHS that would ensure that data on Alzheimer’s, cognitive decline, caregiving, and health disparities are analyzed and disseminated to the public in a timely manner.

The BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act was supported by numerous nationwide advocacy organizations, including the Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s Impact Movement, the American Academy of Neurology, National Association of Chronic Disease Directors, and the National Association of Counties.  Click HERE and HERE to read their letters of support.

U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), and Tim Kaine (D-VA) introduced the companion bill in the U.S. Senate.

For a one-pager on the bill, click HERE

To read the full text of the bill, click HERE

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