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Sen. Moran Holds Senate Appropriations Hearing on Alzheimer's with Former Kansas Rep. Dennis Moore and Actor Seth Rogen

Hearing Examines Economic Impact of Alzheimer's Disease and Current State of Research to Prevent and Treat Disease

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Ranking Member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies, held a hearing Wednesday titled “Taking a Toll on Families and the Economy: The Rising Cost of Alzheimer’s in America.” The hearing examined the impacts of Alzheimer’s disease – both economic and personal – and the state of current research initiatives.

More than five million Americans are currently living with Alzheimer’s, and the disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Caring for those with Alzheimer’s and other dementias is expected to cost $203 billion this year, with $142 billion covered by the federal government through Medicare and Medicaid. A study last year by the RAND Corporation stated that the cost of dementia care is projected to double over the next 30 years, surpassing health care expenses for both heart disease and cancer. Without a way to prevent or effectively treat Alzheimer’s, it will be difficult – if not impossible – to rein in our nation’s health care costs. Sen. Moran is committed to working with Congress on prevention, treatment and ultimately a cure. 

The hearing included four expert witnesses who are leading the effort to defeat Alzheimer’s, and two individuals who shared personal testimony:

  • Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., National Institutes of Health Director
  • Richard J. Hodes, M.D., National Institute on Aging Director
  • Story C. Landis, Ph.D., National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke Director
  • Michael D. Hurd, Ph.D., RAND Center for the Study of Aging Director
  • Former Kansas Congressman Dennis Moore (D-Kan.)
  • Mr. Seth Rogen, Alzheimer’s Association Celebrity Champion

Sen. Moran invited his friend and former colleague, Congressman Dennis Moore to share his personal testimony at the hearing. Rep. Moore was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in June 2011, after serving Kansas’ Third District from 1999-2011.

Highlights from the hearing may be found below, along with links to video downloads.

Sen. Moran to Mr. Rogen
(0:10) “I appreciate your efforts to educate and to communicate with young people. That's something that I have no doubt that is missing…We need the next generation of the doctors that were on the preceding panel and I would encourage you…to do everything you can to instill in people the desire that this is a noble calling, worthy of a career.”

Mr. Rogen to Sen. Moran
(0:54) “I would love to do that but actually I think one of the most distressing things honestly I learned today was talking to Dr. Hodes before the panel…how the funding for the research in this area is so sporadic and inconsistent that people and I relate to it as just a young person who is pursuing a career people are discouraged from entering this pursuit because it's not as financially stable as many of the other diseases that are having great strides taken in, you know, conquering them.

(2:13) “Alzheimer's just isn't a cool disease, unfortunately…That was honestly one of the most distressing things I heard today was even people whose natural instinct would be to pursue curing this disease are discouraged from the financial landscape of this profession.”

Sen. Moran to Rep. Moore
(4:14)“My impression would be, you would be a typical patient who learns of a diagnosis and you've pursued, I assume, all the opportunities to try to find things that make life better over the course of your remaining life. And what is it that's out there that people can tell you health care professionals and others that can tell you what you can do…to accomplish that in your life?”

Rep. Moore to Sen. Moran
(4:41) “Basically to take the medication that they diagnosed for me… and also to get some exercise, which I try to do on a daily basis. My wife very much encourages me to do that. I’m a smart husband, I say, yes dear.”

Sen. Moran to Rep. Moore
(4:57) “Some things we won't forget it's a good thing. Dennis, again, I appreciate your public service…It's very pleasing to me to see you here not on your behalf but on behalf of all the people who sit in this audience and the thousands of Americans and people around the world who have encountered the same circumstance that you encounter. The way that you're living your life I believe gives others courage and hope, and I commend you and Stephanie for that…Another role to play and you're playing it very well.”

FTP LINK:  Click here to download his floor speech. (Save to your desktop.)

YOUTUBE:  Click here to watch his remarks on YouTube.