Alzheimer’s Bill Championed by Smith Now Law
President Signs Bipartisan Measure by Reps. Markey & Smith
The National Alzheimer’s Project Act (NAPA) co-authored by Representatives Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Representative Chris Smith (R-N.J.), is now the law of the land.
Smith and Markey, House co-chairs of the Bipartisan, Bicameral Congressional Task Force on Alzheimer's Disease, introduced the bill in February 2010, to create the National Alzheimer’s Project that will now coordinate government-wide efforts to prevent and treat the disease and create a national strategy for defeating Alzheimer’s. President Obama signed the bill into law this week.
“This law is an important step forward in our battle against the crisis of Alzheimer’s disease,” Smith said. “The National Alzheimer’s Project Act will coordinate a national effort against a terrible disease that ravages over five million Americans, and impacts millions more family members. In the years to come, this law will layout plans for progress in research, services and new treatments of Alzheimer’s, and someday, we hope, a cure.”
Smith and Markey worked with Alzheimer’s advocates such as the Alzheimer’s Association and the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America on the bill since its introduction.
On Dec. 15, the House gave final passage, by voice vote, to the measure which was backed by prime sponsors in the Senate, Evan Bayh (D-IN.) and Susan Collins (R-ME.). The bill is one of the most significant victories in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease in the past three decades.
The new law directs that the National Alzheimer’s Project will be located in the Office of the Secretary, Department of Health and Human Services, and establishes an Advisory Committee of private and federal experts to work with the Secretary to comprehensively assess and address Alzheimer’s research, institutional services and home and community-based care.
NAPA will work to mitigate the agony and suffering by millions of patients and their families, and save the country hundreds of billions of dollars annually and trillions of dollars over coming decades.