At the end of 2016, Congress failed to pass a 2017 budget and instead passed a Continuing Resolution (CR) to fund federal agencies at 2016 levels through April 28. Some in Congress want to pass a yearlong CR at the 2016 funding levels, which would mean that the planned increases for dementia research and care programs would be lost. If Congress and the President can’t pass the 2017 budget by the end of April, the country will face another catastrophic government shutdown which will threaten both the well-being of people with dementia and the pace of Alzheimer’s science.
It is critical for advocates to support efforts by U.S. House and Senate appropriators to move a 2017 federal budget bill – with all the planned funding increases for Alzheimer’s – before the April 28 deadline.
LEAD Coalition members and allied organizations are encouraged to use the following ‘Congressional Ask,’ talking points, infographic, and suggested social media posts below as part of a Day of Action on the federal budget on Monday, April 24.
Talking Points & Social Media Tools
The following talking points can provide a guide for advocates who are calling a member of Congress. Organizations are encouraged to pick 3 -5 that best aligns with their organization’s messaging.
The Congressional Ask
Encourage your advocates to call their U.S. Senators and Representatives at 202-224-3121 and say, “Pass the 2017 federal budget this April with all the planned funding increases for Alzheimer’s research, care, and support.”
- Thank Your Member of Congress or Congressional Staff for Listening and Ask for Support.
- If your Member of Congress serves on an Appropriations Committee (House or Senate), thank them for their support for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia during the Fiscal Year 2017 budget process.
- Even if your Member of Congress or Senators are not on the appropriations committees but you know they supported Alzheimer’s funding increases, thank the Member for their dementia-specific support and leadership.
- Ask for a promise to fully fund Alzheimer’s disease and dementia research, care, and support services in the current Fiscal Year 2017 budget.
- Ask what the Member of Congress is doing to ensure that the Fiscal Year 2017 budget bills come up for a vote and get passed in the House or Senate.
- Urge Congress Not to Pass Another Continuing Resolution (C.R.) by Telling the Congressional Office: “Another CR will delay scientific progress for millions of Americans struggling with Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia. Tell House Speaker Ryan and Senate Majority Leader McConnell to pass a ‘clean’ omnibus bill, with no controversial amendments or riders.”
- Congressional delays in passing the 2017 budget have put the National Institutes of Health (NIH) sixth months behind in stopping dementia, and we’re in danger of losing another six months.
- NIH desperately needs support to address the dementia crisis. Current funding amounts fall short.
- National experts and leading scientists have recognized that federal funding is too low to achieve our national goal to prevent and effectively treat Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias by 2025.
- We need to accelerate Alzheimer’s science because this disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S. and the only top ten cause of death without a way to prevent, slow, or cure the disease.
- Urge Congress to Act Now: “Tell your Members of Congress that the funding increases for Alzheimer’s disease need to be in the omnibus budget bill for 2017 and that bill needs to pass before the end of April.”
- More than five million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.
- More than 15 million family caregivers give unpaid support to someone with dementia, care valued at more than $230 billion every year.
- Dementia imposes a great emotional, spiritual, and financial costs on families – many families are spending an average of $61,522 out-of-pocket for caregiving, more than twice the cost of caring for someone without dementia.
- Alzheimer’s and other dementias are costly to the nation. Total payments for health care and long-term care in 2017 estimated at $259 billion, including $175 billion under Medicare and Medicaid.
- Tell Congress: “Please pass the FY 2017 federal budget this April with all the planned funding increases for Alzheimer’s and dementia research, care, and support.”
If you are a member of the LEAD Coalition or an allied organization, you are welcome to co-brand this infographic. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For a PDF version of this graphic, click here.
E-Mail Template & Social Media Language
LEAD Coalition members and allied organizations are welcome to use or adapt this suggested language in urging their advocates to contact Congress.
- Call your U.S. Senators and Representatives at 202-224-3121 and tell them, “Pass the 2017 federal budget this April with all the planned funding increases for Alzheimer’s research, care, and support.” Use the talking points (above) for additional support in reaching out.
- Share the FY 2017 Budget infographic (above) on social media using the hashtags #FundAlzheimers, #Alzheimers, and #dementia. Tag congressional appropriators using this contact sheet (PDF) and consider tagging Speaker of House Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (@SenateMajLdr) to encourage a vote on an FY 2017 federal budget and to negotiate with the White House.
- Suggested Post to Mobilize Advocates: Congress must #FundAlzheimers! Call them at 202-224-3121 & say: Pass the 2017 budget w/ planned #Alzheimers funding!
- Suggested Post to Members of Congress: Congress: Pass the 2017 budget w/ planned #Alzheimers funding increases! #FundAlzheimers @SpeakerRyan @
- E-mail this action alert to everyone you know who would be willing to call on Congress to fight Alzheimer’s disease.