September 27, 2006 - Statement on H.Res 466, Resolution in Support of an Alzheimer's Stamp

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.  Today I rise to introduce a resolution urging the United States Postal Service to act on a pending petition for an Alzheimer’s Semi-Postal Stamp. I am joined by Co-chair of the Congressional Alzheimer’s Taskforce, Representative Christopher Smith, Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Representative John Boozman in a bi-partisan effort to raise funds for Alzheimer’s research through the issuance of a semi-postal stamp.

The petition of support for the issuance of an Alzheimer’s semi-postal has been pending at the United States Post Office for over four years.  It is long overdue that we honor this petition and allow Alzheimer’s the opportunity it deserves to benefit from this public awareness and fundraising campaign.

The race to find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease is now more urgent than ever.  Four and a half million Americans, including one in 10 people over age 65 and nearly half of those over 85, have Alzheimer’s disease.  Unless science finds a way to prevent or cure this terrible illness, as the baby boomers continue to age, nearly 16 million Americans will have Alzheimer’s disease by the year 2050.

Mr. Speaker, we need to help and give hope to those who are fighting the moment to moment physical, mental and behavioral battles of Alzheimer’s every day.  We need to help and give hope to the behind the scenes the heroes-- the family care-givers who selflessly offer their love and care.  And we need to help and give hope to the researchers working hard to find a cure.  Working together we can do more -- and we must.    We must do everything we can to ensure that one day Alzheimer’s is a disease of the past and issuing a semi-postal stamp can help do just that.

The best way to fight Alzheimer’s disease and reduce the number of patients who suffer is to find ways to prevent it before it starts.  Investments we make now mean longer, healthier lives for all of us.  If we can delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease by even 5 years, it would save this country billions of dollars—and would improve the lives of millions of families.  We can act now to strengthen our commitment to prevent Alzheimer’s and to finding a cure for this devastating disease. 

Semi-postal stamps are special stamps which were authorized by Congress as a tool for the United States Postal Service to not only raise funds but awareness of worthy causes.  An Alzheimer’s stamp would allow the public to directly contribute to research funds by charging a higher price than normal postage for the stamp and allocating most of the proceeds to research on this insidious and debilitating disease. We simply cannot afford to wait another minute, or another four years until we give Alzheimer’s the attention and opportunity it deserves.  I hope that the Postal Service will act and help to make a difference in the future by allowing us to contribute to Alzheimer’s research through a semi-postal stamp today.