Alzheimer's Accountability Act
Congress unanimously passed the bipartisan National Alzheimer’s Project Act (P.L. 111-375) in 2010. The law instructs the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to develop a strategic plan to address the rapidly escalating Alzheimer’s disease crisis. The annually updated National Alzheimer’s Plan must be transmitted to Congress each year and is to include outcome-driven objectives, recommendations for priority actions and coordination of all federally funded programs in Alzheimer’s disease research, care and services. The plan also includes the goal of effectively treating and preventing Alzheimer’s by 2025. However, the one missing piece in this plan is a projection of the level of funding necessary to reach the critical goal of effectively treating and preventing Alzheimer’s by 2025. The Alzheimer’s Accountability Act represents a bipartisan effort to ensure that Congress is equipped with the best possible information to set funding priorities and reach the goal of the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease - effectively preventing and treating Alzheimer’s by 2025. View the fact sheet.
To change the current trajectory, the National Alzheimer’s Plan set a goal to effectively prevent and treat Alzheimer’s disease by 2025.The National Plan also led to the notable accomplishment of NIH scientists creating a specific, year-by-year blueprint for Alzheimer’s research. However, for the progress this disease requires, scientists need the necessary funds to carry out the blueprint.The last piece of the puzzle is to allow NIH scientific leadership to submit, directly to Congress and the President, an outline of the funding necessary to reach the 2025 goal.
The Alzheimer’s Accountability Act would require the NIH to submit an annual Alzheimer’s research budget directly to Congress and the President reflecting what scientists believe is needed each year for Alzheimer’s research to reach the 2025 goal. It will be a complete, undistorted reflection of what the scientists believe they need to accomplish the year-by-year steps in the blueprint. The professional judgment budget will lay out exactly how the scientists would implement the National Plan and the specific costs associated with each step, helping Congress make more informed funding decisions. It is an accountability tool as well as a detailed, scientific roadmap reflecting what the scientists need to get the job done.
The Advisory Council on Alzheimer’s Research, Care and Services has recommended that the Administration should estimate the federal funding that will be required each year to successfully complete the interim milestones through completion of the 2025 research goal. Like the milestones themselves, these estimates should be revised annually, considering progress, emerging challenges and opportunities.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a professional judgment budget?
Professional judgment budgets are budgets submitted directly to Congress and the President from the federal agency without going through the bureaucratic process. It directly reports what the agency believes they will need in the upcoming fiscal year. They are non-binding and will serve to better inform Congress as they develop funding bills.
Have professional judgment budgets been used before?
Professional judgment budgets have been used in other agencies to better inform Congress. For example, the National Cancer Institute creates one every year.
How much would the Alzheimer’s Accountability Act cost?
While the bill has not been scored by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), there should be no cost associated to the bill as NIH already develops budgets that are submitted through the standard budget process. The professional judgment budget is the initial document developed by NIH before it is submitted to the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB.)