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Congresswoman Maxine Waters

Representing the 43rd District of California

Congresswoman Waters Urges U.S. Postal Service to Issue an Alzheimer’s Research Semipostal Stamp

July 5, 2016
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Ranking Member of the Financial Services Committee and Co-Chair of the bipartisan Congressional Task Force on Alzheimer’s Disease, sent a letter to Ms. Mary Anne Penner, Director of Stamp Services at the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), urging USPS to issue and sell an Alzheimer’s Research Semipostal Stamp as the inaugural semipostal stamp under the USPS discretionary Semipostal Stamp Program.  The letter was dated July 1, 2016, and signed by a bipartisan group of 41 Members of Congress, including Congresswoman Waters; Congressman Christopher H. Smith (R-NJ), Co-Chair of the Congressional Task Force on Alzheimer’s Disease; and Rep. John Garamendi (D-CA), member of the Congressional Task Force on Alzheimer’s Disease.

“An Alzheimer’s Research Semipostal Stamp will provide an excellent opportunity to raise funds for cutting-edge Alzheimer’s research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH),” said the Congresswoman and her colleagues in their letter.  “A semipostal stamp will simultaneously raise public awareness about Alzheimer’s disease and encourage concerned individuals to get involved and make voluntary contributions to Alzheimer’s research efforts.”

The Breast Cancer Research Semipostal Stamp, which was established by an act of Congress, has raised more than $80 million for breast cancer research.  USPS recently established a discretionary Semipostal Stamp Program, under which it will issue a total of five additional semipostal stamps over the next ten years, with each stamp being issued and sold for a two-year period.  USPS is scheduled to begin considering proposals for the first of these five semipostal stamps today, July 5, 2016.

Congresswoman Waters has been a leader in congressional efforts to fight Alzheimer’s disease.  She has called for a significant increase in funding for Alzheimer’s research at NIH, and she introduced Alzheimer’s Action Now, a set of bills that together will help Alzheimer’s patients and their families; promote public awareness of Alzheimer’s disease; and encourage voluntary contributions to research efforts. 

The full text of the letter is below:

 

Ms. Mary Anne Penner

Director of Stamp Services

Office of Stamp Services

ATTN: Semipostal Discretionary Program

United States Postal Service

475 L’Enfant Plaza, SW, Room 3300

Washington, DC 20260-5301

 

Dear Ms. Penner:

 

            We write as members of the bipartisan Congressional Task Force on Alzheimer’s Disease and other concerned Members of Congress to urge the United States Postal Service (USPS) to issue and sell an Alzheimer’s Research Semipostal Stamp as the inaugural semipostal stamp under the USPS discretionary Semipostal Stamp Program. 

 

            Alzheimer’s is a devastating disease affecting millions of Americans, and it has reached crisis proportions.  An estimated 5.4 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease, and this number could increase to 16 million by the year 2050.  Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States and the fifth leading cause of death for persons aged 65 and over.  Alzheimer’s is the only cause of death among the top 10 causes of death in the United States that has no means of prevention, no cure, and no method for slowing its progression.

 

            Alzheimer’s imposes a tremendous burden on families, government and society.  The direct costs to American society of caring for Alzheimer’s patients in 2016 are estimated to be $236 billion, including $160 billion that will be spent by Medicare and Medicaid.  Furthermore, more than 15 million family members and friends provided more than 18 billion hours of unpaid care to individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias in 2015.  The economic value of this unpaid care has been estimated at $221 billion.

 

            Our nation is at a crossroads.  We must act now to change the trajectory of this disease!  The National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease calls for a cure or an effective treatment for Alzheimer’s by the year 2025.  Reaching this goal will require a significant increase in federal funding for Alzheimer’s research. 

 

            An Alzheimer’s Research Semipostal Stamp will provide an excellent opportunity to raise funds for cutting-edge Alzheimer’s research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).  A semipostal stamp will simultaneously raise public awareness about Alzheimer’s disease and encourage concerned individuals to get involved and make voluntary contributions to Alzheimer’s research efforts. 

 

            We therefore respectfully urge that the USPS select the Alzheimer’s Research Semipostal Stamp as its inaugural semipostal stamp.  We appreciate your consideration of our concerns.

 

Sincerely,

 

 

Maxine Waters                              Christopher H. Smith                    John Garamendi

Co-Chair, Congressional Task      Co-Chair, Congressional Task      Member, Congressional Task

Force on Alzheimer’s Disease       Force on Alzheimer’s Disease       Force on Alzheimer’s Disease

 

Chris Van Hollen                                                                    Ileana Ros-Lehtinen

Alcee L. Hastings                                                                    John J. Duncan, Jr.

Linda T. Sánchez                                                                     Katherine Clark         

Eleanor Holmes Norton                                                          Stephen F. Lynch

Marcy Kaptur                                                                          Steve Cohen

Gerald E. Connolly                                                                 Sanford Bishop

Yvette D. Clarke                                                                      Madeleine Bordallo

Donald M. Payne, Jr.                                                              James P. McGovern

Debbie Dingell                                                                        Raúl M. Grijalva

John Lewis                                                                              Zoe Lofgren

Frederica S. Wilson                                                                 Ron Kind 

Janice Hahn                                                                            Stacey E. Plaskett

Karen Bass                                                                              Grace F. Napolitano

Bonnie Watson Coleman                                                         John Delaney

Ryan A. Costello                                                                     Mike Fitzpatrick

Joyce Beatty                                                                            Sander Levin

Cedric Richmond                                                                    Corrine Brown

William R. Keating                                                                  Doris Matsui

John Yarmuth                                                                          Jackie Speier

 

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