Those living with Alzheimer’s and their loved ones deserve better


When I was 17 years old, I helped to care for my grandmother, who lived with Alzheimer’s.

This experience impacted me in a tremendous way. Even 23 years after her death, I still remember the heartache of watching her slowly fade away.

For the past 10 years, I have volunteered as an Alzheimer’s advocate, in memory of my grandmother. Most recently as part of this work, I have reached out to Congressman Chuck Fleischman, Sen. Bill Hagerty and Sen. Marsha Blackburn to encourage their support for the cause.

The issue: The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is blocking access to FDA-approved Alzheimer’s treatments.

This is the FIRST TIME EVER that CMS has denied this type of coverage. CMS says that it is not reasonable and necessary for people living with Alzheimer’s to have access to FDA-approved treatments without barriers.

This policy is unjustified, harmful and unfair. People who are living with Alzheimer’s, and their doctors, should be able to decide if an FDA-approved treatment is right for them, and it should be covered by Medicare. All those living with Alzheimer’s, and their families and loved ones, deserve better.

Just this past January, the FDA approved another Alzheimer’s drug (Lecanemab, now known as Leqembi), using an accelerated approval pathway. But because of the decision by CMS, this drug, which has been unequivocally confirmed by the scientific community to help slow the progression of Alzheimer’s, isn’t reaching the people who need it most.

The Alzheimer’s Association and fellow advocates like me are calling on CMS to change this decision. I am also calling on my members of Congress for their help. To date, 94 members of Congress have shown bipartisan support for this issue.

Notably, none of our Tennessee delegation has done so. I urge your readers to join me in asking that Congressman Fleischmann, Sen. Hagerty and Sen. Blackburn demand CMS take action to ensure individuals living with Alzheimer’s have equitable access to FDA-approved treatments.

To learn more about how you can join the fight to end Alzheimer’s, visit


Rebecca Williams

TN-03 constituent/Alzheimer’s advocate