Editorial: Bush’s Alzheimer’s inclusion laudable

The New York Times announced Sunday the Bush administration has authorized Medicare to cover Alzheimer’s disease. This is a great move that will benefit millions of Americans who were previously denied Medicare access due to the disease.

The government has done its country a well-deserved justice by allowing coverage of this disease.

Alzheimer’s disease is a degenerative brain disorder that causes loss in memory, thinking problems and changes in behavior and personality, according to The New York Times report. For years, Medicare would not cover Alzheimer’s because it was thought that people with the disease were incapable of showing medical improvement.

However, recent studies show that psychotherapy, physical and occupational therapy can help Alzheimer’s sufferers. When Alzheimer’s is treated during its onset, there are benefits of treatment and therapy that can stave off the decrease in mental faculties and save the patient money.

With this news, the Bush administration decided to include more than 4 million people affected by the disease into Medicare, which will allow the afflicted to be reimbursed for costs such as mental health services, hospice care and home health care.

People who have Alzheimer’s often don’t die immediately. It is a disease that can take eight to 10 years to completely set in. During that time, conditions worsen, but now the Bush administration’s decision to include the treatment of the disease in Medicare will help patients receive treatment and possibly live longer and more normal lives for longer.

Alzheimer’s has no cure, but perhaps this treatment will lead to the development of cures or further preventative measures so that fewer people in future generations will experience the disease.

The Bush administration should be applauded for this inclusion. Hopefully, this precedent will motivate the government to take a more proactive role in providing care and treatment for other diseases and helping more Americans live healthier and longer lives.