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Letters: Act on Alzheimer's

Published: Saturday, Aug. 29 2015 6:06 p.m. MDT

Kathleen Sanford performs neurological cognitive tests Monday, Dec. 17, 2012, in Columbus, Ohio. Sanford is an Alzheimer's patient that has a deep brain stimulation implant as part of a study at Ohio State University. (Associated Press) Kathleen Sanford performs neurological cognitive tests Monday, Dec. 17, 2012, in Columbus, Ohio. Sanford is an Alzheimer's patient that has a deep brain stimulation implant as part of a study at Ohio State University. (Associated Press)

Alzheimer's disease is becoming the most expensive malady in the country. Coupled with the numbers in the baby boom generation, the costs of treating it will skyrocket at a rate rarely occurring in chronic diseases. Utah will have the highest per capita prevalence increase of Alzheimer's among all states — a 127 percent increase by 2025. As a result, the "Health Outcomes, Planning and Education (HOPE) for Alzheimer's Act" should be a top federal priority for the 113th Congress. This legislation would provide Medicare coverage for clinical diagnoses, care planning for individuals and their caregivers and require documentation of diagnostic evaluations in an individual's medical record.

We thank and commend Rep. Jim Matheson for his co-sponsorship of the HOPE for Alzheimer's Act and longstanding support of funding for research, education and care for Alzheimer's and other related dementias. Given the substantial impact Alzheimer's will have on the people of Utah, we ask why Congressmen Chris Stewart, Jason Chaffetz and Rob Bishop, and Senators Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee have not become co-sponsors of this essential legislation. We encourage them to do so. All Utahns with family or friends suffering the debilitating ravages of Alzheimer should contact them also.

Beverly and William Miller

Salt Lake City

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