Jan. 31, 2014: Our readers write

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Congress supports Alzheimer’s work

At the urging of the Alzheimer’s Association and more than 600,000 advocates who called, sent postcards and visited their legislators, Congress passed and President Obama has signed into a fiscal 2014 funding bill that includes an unprecedented $122 million increase for Alzheimer’s research, education, outreach and caregiver support.

On behalf of the 80,000 Kentuckians and 120,000 Indiana residents who have Alzheimer’s and the nearly 600,000 family members and friends who care for them, we want to extend a special thanks to the Kentucky and Southern Indiana legislators who voted in favor of this funding: John Yarmuth, Hal Rogers, Larry Bucshon, Ed Whitfield, Brett Guthrie, Andy Barr and Todd Young.

Federal and state monies, combined with local chapters’ continued fundraising efforts, are critical to:

  • Ensuring that we meet the National Alzheimer’s Plan goal of preventing and effectively treating Alzheimer’s by 2025;
  • Treating and preventing a disease that is always fatal (in fact, Alzheimer’s is the sixth-leading cause of death in America and the only cause of death among the top 10 for which there is no way to prevent, stop or even slow its progression); 
  • Funding research that will discover new drugs to treat the disease, because no new Alzheimer’s medications have been approved in more than 10 years;
  • Stemming the enormous costs of caring for those with Alzheimer’s, currently estimated at $203 billion a year, including $142 billion to Medicare and Medicaid.

The federal Alzheimer’s funding increase is a significant milestone in changing the trajectory of Alzheimer’s that, without intervention, means more than 97,000 Kentuckians and 130,000 Indiana residents will be living with Alzheimer’s by 2025. 

When the Kentucky and Southern Indiana Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Associations gathers advocates to meet legislators in Frankfort this week, we hope our state lawmakers join with their federal counterparts to join with us in the effort to prevent and effectively treat Alzheimer’s by 2025, and to provide funding to support families and caregivers dealing with the disease along the way.

Teri Shirk


Alzheimer’s Association

Kentucky and Southern Indiana Chapter


Concerned about IRS infringements

I am writing to inform the community of a very real threat to our freedom of speech by the IRS and the Obama administration.

The IRS is proposing regulations to restrict nonprofits, such as American Family Association, the Tea Party, Family Research Council and others like them, from speaking about electoral candidates, their voting history and political viewpoints.

I believe this is a grave threat to not only the freedom of speech but also to non-profit organizations themselves and an attempt to shut them down all together.

We must take a stand and continue to fight for our freedoms. If we do not fight this, this will be only the beginning to the loss of our freedom. The beginning of liberty being taken away from our churches and ultimately the individuals who voice their opinions opposite those who hold government offices.

I urge everyone to call, write or tweet Congress to stop this proposal that attacks the first amendment. Call your U.S. representative and U.S. senators at 202-224-3121 and ask them to stop this IRS rule.

Miranda Pike