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Lawmakers offer bill to boost Alzheimer's funding
House lawmakers on Monday unveiled bipartisan legislation to increase funding to help fight Alzheimer's disease.
Reps. Tom Suozzi (D-N.Y.) and Pete King (R-N.Y.) discussed the bill in an event at a hospital in Glen Cove, N.Y., where they were joined by advocates from the Alzheimer's Foundation of America, a nonprofit that worked with the lawmakers on the legislation.
The bill would create an Alzheimer's Research and Caregiving (ARC) Trust Fund to finance Alzheimer's research and support caregivers.
The event was held in Suozzi's home district. He praised the bill as "creative legislation" that will help "fund research and caregiver support services" in a statement.
"This is a responsibility we all share and something that folks on both sides of the aisle should get behind," he added.
"I support efforts that benefit individuals and families affected by this horrible disease," said King in a statement. "I will do all that I can to make sure this measure becomes law," he vowed.
Under the bill, taxpayers can contribute to the ARC Trust Fund through their federal income tax returns. Fifty percent of the funds would be allocated to the National Institutes of Health, with the other half going to the Administration for Community Living, an agency in the Department of Health and Human Services, which funds efforts to provide community living for older people and those with disabilities.
Supporters noted that the ARC Trust Fund would not pull from any current funding from the NIH or other agencies but bring more money to the fight against Alzheimer's.
NIH spending on Alzheimer's and related diseases was $2.3 billion in fiscal 2019, the first time federal funding for Alzheimer's and dementia research exceeded $2 billion.
Currently, Alzheimer's is the sixth-leading cause of death in the U.S., according to the Alzheimer's Foundation of America. As many as 5 million Americans live with Alzheimer's, a number the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention projects could triple by 2060.
Lawmakers from both parties have pushed for more funding and for health agencies to do more to fight Alzheimer's.