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

U.S. Senator Tina Smith Announces Significant Federal Funding for Tribal Nations and the Native Community in the Twin Cities

WASHINGTON D.C. [1/13/23] –– U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) announced that she helped secure over $8.6 million for Minnesota Tribal Nations and communities in the Twin Cities metro area. These funds will support the Lower Sioux Indian Community, the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, the Prairie Island Indian Community, the Indian Health Board of Minneapolis, and the Native American Community Clinic. Senator Klobuchar also worked to secure this funding. “For too long, Native communities have experienced negative impacts of federal underinvestment and underfunding of critical services. I’m proud to have worked with Tribal leaders to help secure funding for projects that will address some of these disparities,” said Senator Smith. “These are significant investments that will increase access to Indigenous health services, expand Tribal housing opportunities, and invest in clean energy, carbon reduction, and protecting waters. I look forward to seeing all the good these projects will do for Minnesota’s Tribal and Native communities.”  This federal funding will help further the following priorities: Expanding health care access and upgrading health care facilities: $2.25 million for the Indian Health Board in Minneapolis to support the Menaandawiwe Wellness Campus vision to provide traditional healing methods and establish a connection to nature for Native people living in the Twin Cities metro area.  $1 million to expand the Native American Community Clinic’s capacity by adding ten additional medical rooms, five dental exam rooms, expanded laboratory and diagnostic services, and establish a better clinic flow to improve efficiency. $850,000 for the Leech Lake

U.S. Senator Tina Smith’s Bills to Reduce the Cost of Prescription Drugs and Expand Access to Health Care Signed Into Law

WASHINGTON, D.C. [1/13/23] — More than half a dozen health care bills by U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) were signed into law by President Biden two weeks ago.  The measures will take important steps to lower the cost of prescription drugs, address public health workforce shortages, and shore up supply chains while creating good-paying American jobs. Most of the provisions were bipartisan.  “Since my first day in office, I’ve promised Minnesotans that I would work to reduce the cost of prescription drugs and expand access to health care,” said Sen. Smith. “These measures provide the tools to make significant progress on lowering health care costs, boosting our public health workforce, and more.” These new laws will: Require the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to establish a program to improve health outcomes and reduce health inequities. Help speed up the development of and improve access to lower-cost generic drugs by requiring the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to make timely therapeutic equivalence evaluations for drugs approved through the complex generic pathway. This provision is based on Smith’s Modernizing Therapeutic Equivalence Rating Determination Act. Clarify the FDA’s ability to regulate combination products—products that meet both the definition of drugs and devices—as drugs rather than as devices. The provision is based on Smith’s Consistent Legal Evaluation and Regulation of Medical Products (CLEAR) Act and will eliminate unnecessary confusion and turmoil in the industry. This clarification will allow the FDA to spend more time and resources on bringing low-cost products to market to

Klobuchar, Smith Secure Significant Federal Funding for Local Projects Benefiting Duluth and North Shore, Including Investments in Aerial Lift Bridge

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Tina Smith (D-MN) announced that they have secured significant federal funding in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 federal budget to support local projects benefiting Duluth and the North Shore. These projects will enable critical infrastructure improvements, including modernizing the Aerial Lift Bridge, while expanding housing opportunities and workforce development programs in sectors facing critical shortages.  “From improving the Aerial Lift Bridges to helping students pursue medical training programs, these projects will address key issues impacting Minnesotans on a daily basis. I am proud to have worked with local leaders to secure these

Klobuchar, Smith Secure Federal Funding for Projects Benefiting Twin Cities and Surrounding Areas

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Tina Smith (D-MN) announced that they have secured significant federal funding in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 federal budget to support local projects benefiting the Twin Cities and surrounding areas. These projects will bolster the region’s infrastructure, help expand health care access and upgrade health care facilities, address affordable housing needs, and improve public safety.  “From making infrastructure improvements to expanding access to health care and affordable housing, these projects will help address key issues impacting Minnesotans on a daily basis. I am proud to have worked with local leaders to secure

U.S. Senator Tina Smith’s Bipartisan Bill to Improve Rural Health Care Passes Senate

WASHINGTON [12/21/22] – U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) and John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Co-Chairs of the Senate Rural Health Causes, announced that their bipartisan bill to improve rural health care passed the Senate by unanimous consent. The State Offices of Rural Health (SORH) Reauthorization Act of 2022 will reauthorize a key program that supports health facilities in rural areas across the country. The legislation now goes to the U.S. House of Representatives for consideration. “When I meet with families, farmers, businesses and community leaders in greater Minnesota, one of the first issues that comes up is health care,” said Smith. “This

U.S. Senator Tina Smith Leads Colleagues in Introducing Bipartisan Resolution Recognizing November as National Lung Cancer Awareness Month

WASHINGTON, D.C. [11/30/22] – Today, U.S. Senators Tina Smith (D-Minn.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) reintroduced a bipartisan resolution to designate November as National Lung Cancer Awareness Month. Their resolution highlights the importance of early detection of lung cancer to help save lives. It also recognizes the need for research to improve early diagnosis, screening and treatment.   “We need to take every possible step to fight this terrible disease that kills far too many people in Minnesota and across the country each year,” said Sen. Smith. “Raising awareness about the importance of lung cancer screenings for eligible individuals can help detect the cancer earlier, and