Alzheimer's affects everyone, including Medicare recipients. Medicare pays for comprehensive care planning for people diagnosed with dementia and their families.
Care planning allows individuals and their caregivers to learn about clinical trials and support services in their community — resulting in a higher quality of life, fewer hospitalizations and emergency room visits, and better medication management. However, in 2017 fewer than 1 percent of seniors living with Alzheimer's received the care planning benefit.
Why? Because health care providers don't know the benefit is available or that they can be reimbursed for providing it. The Improving HOPE for Alzheimer's Act would help educate clinicians about it, enabling more families to receive the services and supports it provides. The Alzheimer's Association helps thousands of families each year, and we see firsthand what a difference care planning can make.
Congress should immediately pass the Improving HOPE for Alzheimer's Act (H.R. 1873), and I hope that Congressman Scott Tipton will actively support the bill by becoming a cosponsor.
The number of Coloradans with Alzheimer's is expected to grow by 26 percent by 2025. Almost all of them will be covered by Medicare and could benefit from the care planning benefit, but only if their health care provider knows about it. The end of Alzheimer's begins with all of us.
DEBRA BIANCHI, MPH, MS
Alzheimer's Association Colorado Chapter Western Slope Regional Director
Sources for statistics: Unpublished tabulations based on data from the 2017 Quarterly Medicare Fee-for-Service files and 2017 data from a sampling of Medicare Advantage plans. Prepared under contract by the Health Care Cost Institute. 2019.
Catlin should follow Coram's lead on SB-139
With the end of the legislative session fast approaching, it is important to recognize those elected officials who have shown leadership during the session. Sen. Don Coram is one such official. This session, Sen. Coram helped to introduce SB-139, a bipartisan bill that would expand the number of DMVs that provide driver's licenses to undocumented Coloradans.
This bill amends 2013 legislation that granted undocumented Coloradans the ability to apply for driver's licenses. Unfortunately, the 2013 bill currently allows for only four DMVs to process these unique licenses. The result has been backlogged and overwhelmed DMVs.
Coram's legislation amends this oversight and raises the number of DMVs to 10. Not only does it fix 2013's shortcomings, it does so without spending any taxpayer money, with the licenses fees covering all the costs of the program.
SB-139 also maintains the key requirements for undocumented Coloradans to apply for licenses. Applicants must demonstrate that they have paid taxes and prove that they have resided in Colorado for the past three years.
It was this commonsense and responsible approach, spearheaded by Sen. Coram, that led SB-139 to pass the Senate with bipartisan support.
With the legislation now coming to a vote in the House, it is our representative's turn to show leadership. I hope Rep. Marc Catlin will follow Sen. Coram's courageous example and votes yes on SB-139.
KODY M. GERKIN
Popular vote compact would hurt state voters
The Democrat left is continually calling for "every vote to count." With the passing by our left wing legislature and governor signing the bill giving the Electoral College votes for Colorado to the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, they just assured that the will of the people of Colorado will not count. Instead of following the current guidelines and procedure to distribute the Electoral College votes to the winner of the state votes, our legislature now has determined that ALL of the Colorado Electoral College vote is automatically given to whomever wins in California, New York, etc. These are the most populous states and will control the national elections.
As the Electoral College is set in the Constitution, it would require a constitutional amendment to eliminate or change it. This compact is a backdoor attempt to subvert the Constitution and not meet the mandated requirements to change it.
The left continually refers to the U.S. as a democracy. Wrong, never was, never meant to be. We are a representative republic where the elected representatives are to vote the will of the people to the best of their ability and not be subject to "mob rule" as the majority are sometimes referred to.
We will not have to put up with a large amount of presidential candidates bothering the citizens of the state with their endless campaign rhetoric as they are guaranteed the state by winning both coasts.