Gingrich to Alzheimer’s Association Advocacy Forum attendees: "We should be able to come together to address Alzheimer’s"
"The Constitution says, 'We the people,' not 'We the legislators,'’" said Gingrich. "One of my goals here today is to assure you that you have every right and responsibility to go out and tell elected officials what is going on. You are the living embodiment of the Alzheimer’s issue."
Gingrich emphasized several themes, including the ongoing need for bipartisan support of the fight against Alzheimer’s — an issue he embraced when serving as co-chair of the non-partisan Alzheimer’s Disease Study Group (ASG) with former Nebraska Senator Bob Kerrey. 'Alzheimer’s should be a totally bipartisan issue," said Gingrich. "Alzheimer’s does not just affect Republicans or Democrats, liberals or conservatives. It affects Americans. Therefore, as Americans, we should be able to come together with no partisanship to address Alzheimer’s."
Gingrich highlighted the high financial cost of Alzheimer’s disease to Americans both now and in the future. He emphasized the need for investment in Alzheimer’s research — and the potential cost savings if methods of treatment or prevention could be realized.
"Between now and 2050, Alzheimer’s will cost the American government an estimated $20 trillion," said Gingrich. "Yet today, Alzheimer’s research is grotesquely underfunded. We need the scientific community to tell us the optimum they could invest in the next 10 to 15 years. What could they do if they had the resources they needed to save lives and save money?"
To conclude his remarks, Gingrich shared his overall optimism that the dream of a breakthrough in Alzheimer’s research and awareness is on the horizon.
"I’ve seen things change," he said. "Every generation of Americans has been allowed to dream, and every generation has seen some of their dreams come true."
Following a brief question and answer period, advocates left with much to discuss.
"Anyone who is standing up and advocating, I respect," said Suzette Armijo, an Alzheimer’s ambassador from Mesa, Ariz. "He understands the impact of this disease. He has big dreams and broad ideals when it comes to this issue. It shows us as advocates that there are people on Capitol Hill who have those feelings. It gives us hope."
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