Health Care

Senator Smith believes that every person deserves affordable, high-quality health care. As a member of the Senate Health Committee and a leader in the bipartisan Rural Health Caucus, Sen. Smith is fighting to protect, improve, and expand comprehensive health care coverage for Minnesotans.

A top priority for Sen. Smith is addressing the high cost of health care. Too many Minnesotans are burdened by the high cost of their health care coverage, and others are going without insurance or prescription medications. Sen. Smith is working with her colleagues on both sides of the aisle to address the underlying issues that make health care expensive, starting with the high price of prescription drugs.

While working to make health care more affordable, Sen. Smith is also working to ensure that every Minnesotan has access to mental health care, which she believes is an essential part of comprehensive health coverage. She is working to enforce federal laws that require equitable coverage of mental health and medical care, and she is fighting for expanded access to mental health services across the age continuum.

Sen. Smith also opposes any efforts to limit coverage for Minnesotans, slash Medicaid or Medicare, deny coverage to people with preexisting conditions, and interfere with a woman’s right to make decisions about her own health care. Minnesotans and people across this country rely on their health coverage, and believes that any attempt to take that away is unacceptable.

Finally, Sen. Smith is a champion for rural communities, who face unique barriers that limit their access to quality, affordable health care. As co-chair of the bipartisan Rural Health Caucus, Sen. Smith is working with her colleagues to eliminate the health disparities between rural and urban communities.

Latest Releases

Senator Smith Reintroduces Bill to Address America’s Maternal Mortality Crisis

WASHINGTON – This week, U.S. Senator Tina Smith introduced legislation to address America’s worsening maternal mortality crisis, which has a disproportionate impact on Black, Brown, Indigenous and all People of Color. The Data to Save Moms Act seeks to understand the root causes of this emergency by improving data collection on maternal mortality and morbidity. From 2018 to 2021, the maternal mortality rate in the U.S. increased by 89%. The crisis is even more acute for Black, Native and Indigenous women, who are more than twice as likely to die due to a pregnancy-related complication as white women. “I do not think it’s radical to believe that everyone who gives birth should be able to access high-quality health care,” said Sen. Smith. “America’s increasing maternal mortality rate, and the disparities in maternal health outcomes for People of Color, is a national emergency. My legislation will identify the root causes of this problem so we can tackle them head on. This is about establishing maternal health justice—especially for People of Color.” “We are committed to addressing the underlying root causes of maternal mortality and morbidity and applaud Senator Tina Smith and Representative Sharice Davids for introducing the Data to Save Moms Act, which will improve data collection to advance equitable responses to the ongoing maternal health crisis,” said March of Dimes Sr. Vice President, Public Policy & Government Affairs, Stacey Y. Brayboy. “The staggering maternal mortality rates women, particularly for Black and Indigenous women of color, face in the nation is

Senator Smith Reintroduces Legislation to Provide Free Emergency Insulin on Rx Companies’ Dime

WASHINGTON [5.11.23] – This week, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) reintroduced legislation to hold insulin manufacturers accountable for excessive increases in the price of life-sustaining insulin. The Emergency Access to Insulin Act would provide emergency access to insulin for people in Minnesota and across the country who can’t afford the skyrocketing price of the drug that they need to stay alive. “Over a million people are rationing their insulin so they can afford it. And sometimes, they are paying with their lives,” said Sen. Smith. “This bill will allow states to set up a program to provide insulin on an emergency basis, put insulin manufacturers on the hook by requiring them to foot the bill for these programs, hold these manufacturers accountable for gouging the price of insulin, and promote market competition to drive down the price of insulin. This bill holds the right people accountable. To the greedy practice of wielding market power to continually increase prices and make billions off a drug that has been around for over a century, this bill says—no more. This is about providing Minnesotans and Americans with the insulin they need to survive.” “We’ve seen firsthand over the last several months that the pressure we’ve put on drug companies to lower insulin costs is working, and today’s bill is the next step in our fight to make insulin affordable for every American who needs it,” said Rep. Craig. “I’m grateful to Rep. Phillips and Sen. Smith for their partnership on this important issue.”

Senators Smith, Rounds Lead Bipartisan Legislation to Expand Mental Health Services in Rural America

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Tina Smith (D-Minn.) and Mike Rounds (R-S.D.)  reintroduced legislation to improve access to mental health and substance use services. The Home-Based Telemental Health Care Act of 2023 would establish a grant program for health providers to expand telemental health services in rural areas and for individuals working in the farming, forestry and fishing industries. “When I experienced depression, resources were there for me. But right now, too many people don’t have access to the mental or behavioral health care they need, and that’s especially true in rural communities,” said Smith. “Our bipartisan bill will help health

U.S. Senators Smith, Braun Reintroduce Bipartisan Legislation to Address Big Pharma Ploy That Keeps Drug Prices High for Consumers

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Tina Smith (D-MN) and Mike Braun (R-IN), reintroduced bipartisan legislation to address a big pharma ploy that prevents access to affordable prescription drugs for millions of people across the country. The Expanding Access to Low-Cost Generics Act—which was the first piece of Senate legislation introduced by Sen. Smith in 2018—addresses an anti-competitive prescription drug practice called “parking.” “Parking” occurs when a brand name manufacturer agrees not to sue the first company that submits an application to create a generic version of that drug—a so-called “first filer”—as long as the generic company agrees to delay bringing

U.S. Senators Smith, Murkowski, Hassan Reintroduce Bipartisan Bill to Expand Mental Health Care Workforce

WASHINGTON [2.23.23] – Today, U.S. Senators Tina Smith (D-MN), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) reintroduced their bipartisan legislation to strengthen the mental health workforce in the face of shortages. The Mental Health Professionals Workforce Shortage Loan Repayment Act would repay up to $250,000 in eligible student loan repayment for mental health professionals who work in mental health professional shortage areas. Sen. Smith has shared her own mental health journey from the Senate floor—and again in an op-ed last week in the wake of news that Senator John Fetterman (D-PA) was seeking treatment for depression —in hopes of breaking

U.S. Senator Tina Smith Pushes Attorney General Garland to Quickly Appeal Likely Verdict in Key Medication Abortion Case

WASHINGTON [2/22/2023] – Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland in anticipation of a U.S. District Court ruling that would prevent essential, lifesaving reproductive health care for millions of women. In her letter, Smith urges Attorney General Garland and the Department of Justice to quickly appeal the case should the decision undermine access to medication abortion in any way. The case, Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine et al v. U.S. Food and Drug Administration et al, challenges the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) authority to approve mifepristone, a safe and effective abortion medication. This