By Senator Patty Murray
For too long, families in Washington State and across the nation have been impacted by Alzheimer’s disease. I have heard heartbreaking stories of the emotional and financial toll Alzheimer’s has on families, and it is clear that in Congress, we should be doing everything we can to support those who have been affected and continue working toward a cure.
As the Ranking Member of the Senate health committee and the appropriations subcommittee that funds the National Institutes of Health, I have been fighting to increase funding for Alzheimer’s research, and fighting for investments in medical innovation, which is key to finding a cure. I am so proud that our state is home to institutions that are using precision medicine and cutting-edge technology to advance this effort, and it is critical that they have the support they need to continue the great work they are doing.
This is a remarkable time for biomedical research, and we know that there is so much opportunity for continued progress. However, too often, funding constraints and federal budget cuts fail to provide stable support for the NIH and other priorities. That is why I am hopeful that we can work together to find a responsible solution to prevent shortsighted budget cuts that are set to kick back in, rather than going back to the days of uncertainty, and failing to invest in priorities like Alzheimer’s research. I was proud to work with Democrats and Republicans to break through the gridlock and restore these critical investments in 2013, and I am hopeful that we can work together and build on the deal this year.
While work is being done to find a cure, we must also make it a priority to ensure that those living with Alzheimer’s and their families have the support they need. Americans living with this disease deserve our full support across the family spectrum as well as affordable access to the best health care in the world.
I am committed to fighting for these priorities in Washington, D.C., and I encourage advocates to continue to make your voices heard. The personal stories, passion, and dedication of those impacted by this disease are a daily reminder of why we must keep working until we find a cure. Those impacted by Alzheimer’s should not have to wait a day longer.
The Washington State Plan to Address Alzheimer’s is meant to guide the help and resources for over 100,000 individuals living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias in Washington. Provide feedback on the plan until September 26 and attend a Town Hall event in your community to learn more.