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Letters: A BOLD plan to treat Alzheimer’s disease

Contributed To The Press • Jan 4, 2018 at 12:00 AM

It is time we change our thinking on Alzheimer’s disease. Too often Alzheimer’s is treated as an aging issue, ignoring the public health consequences of a disease that someone in the United States develops every 66 seconds.

And with two-thirds of its annual costs being borne by Medicare and Medicaid, it is one that demands more attention from our government.

My mother was one of the 110,000 people in Tennessee who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. She lost her battle with early onset Alzheimer’s disease at the age of 61 after seven years of fighting. This made me one of the 430,000 Tennesseans who are Alzheimer’s/dementia caregivers, at the age of 21.

I understand the disease’s impact, the physical and emotional costs. I also recognize the need for congressional action and support. My experience with the disease is why I believe it is vitally important for Congress to take decisive action to pass the Building Our Largest Dementia Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act.

The BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act would create an Alzheimer’s public health infrastructure across the country to put into practice effective Alzheimer’s interventions including increasing early detection and diagnosis, reducing risk and preventing avoidable and costly hospitalizations.

Alzheimer’s is the most expensive disease in the United States. The disease costs the country more than $259 billion a year, which is why we need the BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act. If we are going to end Alzheimer’s disease, then we must start treating it like the public health threat it is.

Join me in asking U.S. Rep. Phil Roe and U.S. Sens. Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker to fight for the millions of Americans affected by Alzheimer’s by sponsoring the BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act.

LEAH WHITE

Johnson City

Not the adult way

Grown-ups pay their own way. We recently cut taxes for the rich, but did not cut government spending. We are not paying our own way.

We are borrowing trillions that our kids and grandkids will have to pay off. Look your kid in the eye and explain this.

BRUCE DALTON

Johnson City

Look into a mirror

I first met our current city manager, Pete Peterson, 18 years ago when I was elected to the City Commission and dealt with him for 12 years on a daily basis. Pete and I did not agree on every issue, but he was always professional, open to suggestions and new ideas and wasn’t afraid to express his opinion on issues.

Mayor David Tomita has done a terrible job in handling Peterson’s annual evaluation.The mayor wants Peterson to hire a third assistant city manager and then force him to turn day-to-day operations of the city over to that assistant. Tomita’s plan is illogical and violates the City Charter.

The charter is clear on who runs the city and who is responsible for managing all employees, and it is the city manager. If the city is not heading in the right direction, I would suggest commissioners and the mayor look into a mirror where they just might see who is responsible for most of the city’s problems.

PETE PADUCH

Johnson City

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