Healthcare

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’s Bipartisan Legislation to Secure Health Care for Veterans Exposed to Radiation Passes Senate

WASHINGTON, D.C. [8.3.22] – Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) announced that her bipartisan legislation securing health care benefits for “Atomic Veterans” who were exposed to harmful radiation has passed the Senate and is headed to President Biden’s desk. The bill was passed as part of the historic Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring Our PACT Act, which ensures millions of veterans exposed to noxious fumes emanating from burn pits will have access to Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) care and benefits. It is co-led by Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC). The Mark Takai Atomic Veterans Healthcare Parity Act would allow veterans who participated in the cleanup of Enewetak Atoll on the Marshall Islands to receive the same health care and benefits given to other servicemembers who were involved in active nuclear tests. From 1946 to 1958, the U.S. military conducted more than 40 nuclear tests in the islands, but the thousands of servicemembers who cleaned up the area were never made eligible to receive health benefits under the Radiation Compensation Exposure Act. “We have a solemn duty to take care of the men and women who serve in our armed forces. A big part of that is ensuring they can get the health care they need both during and after their service,” said Sen. Smith. “Americans who cleaned up the radiation-exposed Marshall Islands—where more than 40 nuclear tests took place in the 20th century—have been fighting for proper care for a long time. I’m proud to see this legislation become law

Senator Smith Announces Passage of Historic Bill to Ensure Veterans Receive the Health Care They’ve Earned

WASHINGTON, D.C. [8.3.22] – Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) announced the Senate passed the most significant expansion of benefits and health services for veterans in more than 30 years. The historic Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring Our PACT Act ensures millions of veterans exposed to noxious fumes emanating from burn pits will have access to Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) care and benefits.  The bill’s passage comes after Senate Republicans voted to block the bipartisan deal last week, which many of them had previously voted for. The bill will now head to President Biden’s desk where it will be signed into law. “I have heard heartbreaking stories from veterans in Minnesota and across the country who have fallen ill after serving our country and can’t access the health care they were promised,” said Senator Smith. “This bill is the largest expansion of benefits for service-connected health issues in 30 years and will mean quicker access to health care services for the millions of veterans who have been exposed to harmful toxins. I am thrilled to see this legislation on its way to President Biden’s desk, though it should have been there sooner. The health of American veterans should never be used as a political bargaining chip, and I thank the advocates and veterans who made their voices heard and ensured this bill made it across the finish line.” Named after Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson who died in 2020 from toxic exposure as a result of his military

Senators Smith, Booker Introduce Legislation to Affirm Federal Regulation of Reproductive Health Products

WASHINGTON, D.C. [8.2.22] – Today, U.S. Senators Tina Smith (D-MN) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) introduced legislation that affirms the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) long standing preemptive authority over state law for all FDA-approved reproductive health products, including drugs used in medication abortion. The U.S. Constitution’s Supremacy Clause prohibits states from interfering with the federal government’s power to regulate drugs. The Protecting National Access to Reproductive Care Act codifies this preemptive power and the Department of Justice’s authority to enforce federal laws and regulations. It also provides private individuals, and health care providers an avenue to sue states with laws

Smith, Colleagues Introduce Legislation to Allow Use of U.S. Foreign Assistance for Abortion Care Oversees

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) joined a group of her colleagues in introducing legislation that would allow U.S. foreign assistance to be used to provide the full scope of comprehensive health care, including safe and legal access to abortion services. The Abortion is Health Care Everywhere Act, led by Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), would repeal the 1973 Helms Amendment to the Foreign Assistance Act and clarify that under U.S. government policy, safe abortion care is a critical component of comprehensive maternal and reproductive care. “Abortion care is a fundamental component of comprehensive reproductive health care and

The Fight for Reproductive Rights

It’s been nearly one month since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, and I’ve had some time to reflect on what this decision means for our country. When I was just 15 years old, Roe v. Wade established that women have a constitutional right to autonomy over our bodies. During my time at Planned Parenthood, I saw firsthand how controlling your own health care allows you to make the best decisions about the course of your life – your education, your work and your family. Now, I have watched the extremist Supreme Court take away these rights, stripping away 50 years of

U.S. Senators Smith, Murray, and Warren Introduce Legislation to Protect Access to Reproductive Health Care Funding

WASHINGTON, D.C. [07/19/22]—Today, U.S. Senators Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) led a group of their Democratic colleagues in introducing the Expanding Access to Family Planning Act. The bill would protect access to critical reproductive health care services—like birth control, cancer screenings and more—by providing a consistent and strong source of funding for the Title X Family Planning Program. The Title X Family Planning Program is the only federal program dedicated to providing comprehensive family planning and preventive health services. Hundreds of thousands of Americans

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