While speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), Rep. and former presidential candidate, Michele Bachmann (R-MN) sounded almost like a Democrat (or at least a heal the sick sort of Christian) for nearly a minute and 20 seconds. During the speech, Bachmann addressed the very real and growing problem of Alzheimer’s, a disease which she said could be cured within 10 years.
We have another disease, though, that’s hurting us today. It’s called Alzheimer’s. Five million Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s and we’re learning that that number’s expected to triple in the next 40 years.
The cost to deal with Alzheimer’s today is about $172 billion. The cost in 40 years, cumulatively to take care of Alzheimer’s, is projected to be $20 trillion. That’s a figure that’s greater than our entire national debt today – and by the way, there is no known treatment for Alzheimer’s on the horizon.
So, all of that $20 trillion will be spent on care because it’s a humanitarian necessity. We must take care of people, but a smarter strategy would be to develop a cure, that’s caring! Scientists tell us that we could have a cure in 10 years for Alzheimer’s if we’d only put our mind to it.
So why aren’t we seeking to cure diseases like Alzheimer’s or diabetes…juvenile diabetes, heart disease, cancer, Parkinson’s disease. How did we possibly get to this point of political malpractice? Because our government, proclaiming to care so much, has created a cadre of overzealous regulators, excessive taxation and greedy litigators. That’s not caring! It’s time we cared.
Here’s the video from Right Wing Watch:
It’s difficult to disagree with most of that snippet of Bachmann’s speech. Alzheimer’s is a serious and devastating problem and one for which we should be striving to find a cure. Her facts were correct. During the next 40 years, Alzheimer’s care is expected to reach $20 trillion.
There is no cure on the horizon, but Bachmann’s actions in Congress don’t back her compassionate words. She consistently votes against scientific funding. She believes that stem cell research, which is offering hope for all of the diseases she mentioned in her speech, is unethical. Bachmann also wants to gut Medicare, a program which most Alzheimer’s patients rely on. To paraphrase Bachmann, Medicare is a humanitarian necessity.
Bachmann, like a lot of Republicans, seems to be under the misguided perception that medical advances exist only in the profit motivated vacuum called the private sector. Most medical advances have been through a combined effort of the public sector (our tax dollars) and the private sector.
The National Institute of Health is the largest single source of funding for medical research in the world. It is a government agency. The sequester, which in Bachmann’s defense, she voted against, is expected to have a serious impact on the NIH’s budget and on medical research. What is Bachmann’s main complaint about the sequester? The fact that White House tours have been cancelled.
|Wendy Gittleson grew up in a political family. Her passion is for social justice and fairness. She is the Senior Editor for Addicting Info. She lives in a union household. In her rare downtime, you’ll find her hiking or exploring the shoreline with her dogs. Follow her on her Facebook page or on Twitter, @wendygittleson|