What They’re Watching: Peter Newbould, Alzheimer’s Association

Peter Newbould, the Public Policy Manager at the Alzheimer’s Association, Washington Chapter, joins us in this edition of “What They’re Watching” to talk about finding a cure for Alzheimer’s.

At the Alzheimer’s Association at the federal level, we have an enormous priority to increase the dollars at the National Institute of Health to find a cure for Alzheimer’s. There’s a national goal to find a treatment by the year 2025. And we are working our way toward $2 billion a year appropriated for Alzheimer’s research. This is very exciting for our advocates because we’ve tripled the amount of money in just five years going to Alzheimer’s research. If we don’t get out in front of this demographic time bomb of the increase in the number of people who have Alzheimer’s and other dementias, it has the potential to break the Medicare program because presently, one in five dollars in Medicare are spent on somebody with dementia. By the year 2050, that’s one in three.

I think the State of Washington has been well-served by bipartisan support for health care reform initiatives, building on what the federal government has presented to us. And the question is, will that determination, will that will in the legislature continue as federal resources are diminishing. Can we properly run our state exchange? Can we continue to cover people as efficiently as possible? Can we make sure that there will be no bare counties with coverage and more choice provided to people? And hopefully we can get to the point where out of pocket costs are under control so that people have more than just theoretical coverage but they actually have coverage.