Rodgers, Smith: Biden Admin Doubles Down on Restricting Medicare Coverage for Seniors

Press Release

Date: Feb. 24, 2023
Location: Washington, DC

Medicare coverage for novel drugs to treat Alzheimer's disease will continue to be restricted by the Biden administration's Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the agency announced this week, despite numerous bipartisan requests to reconsider. Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy Rodgers (R-WA) and Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith (R-MO) issued the following statement condemning the announcement:

"President Biden and Washington Democrats have waged a sustained assault on Medicare, and this week's decision by CMS is the latest example. Their reckless spending agenda threatens hundreds of billions of dollars in cuts to the program, and now the Biden administration is doubling down by restricting Medicare coverage of FDA-approved Alzheimer's treatments. This is an unprecedented overreach by the administration to override its own FDA. It is setting a troubling precedent for a massive health care bureaucracy to restrict coverage to an entire class of drugs, regardless of the potential for life-saving benefits to patients.

"The Biden Administration's move to restrict coverage for novel Alzheimer's drugs will chill innovation in developing new medicines and treatments for patients facing life-threatening illnesses. President Biden owes an explanation to the millions of patients, caregivers, and families praying for breakthrough cures who will now be denied access, and whose Medicare coverage will become less guaranteed."

NOTE: Last year, House Republican Leaders wrote to Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra in February urging the Administration not to deny Alzheimer's patients the treatments they deserve.

They wrote, "On January 11, 2022, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposed National Coverage Determination (NCD) decision memorandum that would set a new precedent for restricting coverage of all Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved drugs using monoclonal antibodies directed against amyloid for Medicare beneficiaries suffering from Alzheimer's Disease (AD). We have significant concerns about what this decision, if finalized, could mean for the more than 6 million American families suffering from AD, including those with other neurological or medical conditions such as Down Syndrome, who may be effectively prohibited from receiving the drug under the proposed process."