June 05, 2019

Van Hollen, Markey, Collins, and Capito Introduce Legislation to Extend Availability of Alzheimer’s Semipostal Stamp

Today, U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) along with Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), and Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.V.) reintroduced legislation to authorize the current United States Postal Service (USPS) Alzheimer’s research stamp for an additional six years, providing more time to raise additional Alzheimer’s research funds for the National Institutes of Health. Representatives Maxine Waters (CA-43) and Chris Smith (NJ-4) also introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives. Approximately 5.8 million Americans live with Alzheimer’s disease, and Alzheimer’s and other dementias are anticipated to cost $290 billion in 2019 alone.

“Alzheimer’s has impacted countless families in Maryland and across our country. That’s why together we’ve fought to increase funding for critical research on this disease,” said Senator Van Hollen. “This Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, I’m proud to join my colleagues in introducing this bipartisan legislation to maintain the availability of the Alzheimer’s stamp for six more years. Whether it’s sending holiday packages or mailing a letter to a friend, every dollar we put towards research can help make a difference.”

“Every time we use one of these stamps for a package or letter in the mail, we can literally send support for finding a cure for Alzheimer’s disease,” said Senator Markey. “As we recognize Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month in June, we should celebrate the progress we have made in enhancing research funding at the National Institutes of Health for this devastating disease and keep pushing for more research and investments that will help get us closer to identifying a treatment or cure.”

“Every 65 seconds, someone in the U.S. develops Alzheimer’s disease.  By 2050, this rate will double to every 33 seconds unless we take action,” said Senator Collins. “As the founder of the Alzheimer’s Task Force in the Senate and a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, I recently helped secure a $425 million increase for Alzheimer’s research—the largest increase in history—bringing the total to $2.32 billion.  By allowing Americans to continue to purchase Alzheimer’s research stamps, our legislation will build on this funding to support the NIH’s efforts to combat this devastating disease.”

“Alzheimer's is a disease close to my heart, and we are working every day to improve research and treatment so we can find a cure,” said Senator Capito. “Not only will this stamp continue a source of funding for critically important Alzheimer’s research, but it will also help honor the memory and courage of those who have battled this heartbreaking disease. This bipartisan legislation is another step toward ending this devastating disease and providing help and comfort to all those affected by it.”

“As Co-Chair of the Congressional Task Force on Alzheimer’s Disease, I am proud to introduce the Alzheimer’s Research Semipostal Stamp Act, and I congratulate my colleagues for joining me in this effort,” said Rep. Waters.  “This important bill will continue the sales of the popular Alzheimer’s research semipostal stamp, which has already raised more than $890,000 for Alzheimer research and which many of my constituents have been eager to purchase and support.”

“We have made serious progress in the fight against Alzheimer’s, quadrupling research funding at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) by 400 percent over five years—to $2.3 billion in 2019—yet there remains so much more work to be done,” said Rep. Smith. “The Alzheimer’s research stamp helps draw awareness to this critical health issue and raises funding for research—every purchase helps. As co-chair of the Congressional Alzheimer’s Task Force, I am pleased to support the reauthorization of this stamp.”

A copy of the legislation can he found HERE.

USPS first issued the Alzheimer’s semipostal stamp on November 30, 2017 under authority provided through the Semipostal Authorization Act. Under this law, USPS will issue five semipostal stamps for ten years, with each stamp being available for up to two years. The legislation introduced today would keep the Alzheimer’s semipostal stamp available for an additional six years without preventing USPS from issuing the next stamp.

Senator Markey first introduced legislation to authorize the Alzheimer’s research stamp in 2005 and has worked with Senate and House members every year to reintroduce this legislation.