The politics of Alzheimer’s disease funding

Rauner Versus Blunt

The politics of Alzheimer's disease fundingFunny how two Midwestern politicians can have completely different opinions on the exact same subject of Alzheimer’s disease funding.

Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri just announced he will make Alzheimer’s disease funding a priority on his agenda. Meanwhile, Governor Bruce Rauner of Illinois has now proposed cutting $3.3 million in annual funding to the three primary Alzheimer’s centers in the state, leaving them with ZERO funding for the first time ever. Nada. Zilch. Nothing.

Both politicians are republicans whose constituents are separated only by the Mississippi River. One feels increased funding is absolutely necessary based on the predicted Alzheimer’s epidemic as baby boomers age over the next twenty years. The other sees Alzheimer’s disease assistance and research as an “extra” that can be eliminated.

It’s easy to tell which politician’s course of action is short-sighted and fails to anticipate the larger social and economic issue looming in the future: the skyrocketing cost of nursing home placement forced upon caregivers without the resources or programs to keep their loved ones safe at home.

In the next thirty years, care facilities will be overloaded with Alzheimer’s patients whose finances are depleted by the astronomical cost of care over the extended period of their decline. A cost that will then become the burden of the state of Illinois. But by then another Illinois governor will have to deal with that nasty overload to Medicaid, right? Not Rauner’s problem, and the vicious cycle of financial woes for the state of Illinois will continue.

I’ll be Blunt, Governor Rauner. Please reconsider your decision to cut funding to Alzheimer’s programs in Illinois so the state’s financial problems will one day be a faded memory.

Do you think Governor Rauner’s plan to cut funding to Alzheimer’s programs is a bad idea too? Tell me what you think!

Brought To Our Senses family saga novel by Kathleen H. Wheeler