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

U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith Announce Extended Postpartum Health Coverage for Minnesotans

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith (both D-MN) announced that Minnesota has received approval to extend postpartum coverage for 12 months to individuals enrolled in Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The extended coverage is made possible by the American Rescue Plan, which Senators Klobuchar and Smith helped pass last year. “We must address our nation’s unacceptably high maternal mortality rates. Having long fought to improve care for new mothers and babies, this issue is personal to me, and it’s personal to moms across our state,” said Sen. Klobuchar. “I pushed for this funding to help ensure mothers in Minnesota can access the postpartum health coverage that they need.” “It is just plain unacceptable that a woman giving birth in 1987 had a greater likelihood of surviving childbirth than her daughter does today,” said Sen. Smith. “Thanks to these extended benefits made possible by the American Rescue plan, thousands of underserved women in Minnesota will see extended postpartum health coverage. This is a huge step towards solving the maternal mortality crisis and ensuring mothers in Minnesota, particularly women of color, are able to safely give birth.” While pregnancy-related deaths are declining around the world, the United States stands out as the only industrialized country with an increasing maternal mortality rate. The problem is particularly acute in communities of color, with Black and Native women more than two and a half times more likely to die from pregnancy–related complications. Maternal mortality is not just the result of what happens

U.S. Senator Tina Smith Introduces Legislation to Protect Access to Medication Abortions

WASHINGTON, D.C. [6/23/22]—Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) introduced a bill to defend access to medication abortion in states where the right to an abortion is still protected. The bill would protect current FDA guidelines so that women can always access medication abortion through telehealth and certified pharmacies, including mail-order pharmacies. Of the one in four American women who will have an abortion, over half will use medication abortion. In the 20 years since its approval, the evidence has shown that medication abortion can be prescribed to patients without an in-person appointment, is safe and effective for people to take in their own homes, and can be sent through the mail. But right now, extremist Republican lawmakers are attacking access to medication abortion and states have imposed restrictions that contradict scientific evidence. Republican efforts are undermining the ability of women to access proven, safe, and effective reproductive health care. Senator Smith’s Protecting Access to Medication Abortion Act would codify the FDA’s current guidelines so that women can always access medication abortion through telehealth and certified pharmacies, including mail-order pharmacies. “By attacking and undermining access to a safe and effective medication, Republicans are saying that government – not women, not their health care providers – should control the health care that doctors provide women,” said Sen. Smith. “We need to fight back against Republican efforts to chip away at women’s reproductive freedoms. That’s why I introduced this bill: to protect access to medication abortion. It is a critical step that we must take

U.S. Sens. Tina Smith, Jerry Moran Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Improve Access to Behavioral Health Care

WASHINGTON – This week, U.S. Senators Tina Smith (D-MN) and Jerry Moran (R-KS) introduced bipartisan legislation to expand access to behavioral health care. The bill would make it easier for patients to receive behavioral health services in their primary care setting, which would make mental health care more affordable and accessible. “When I experienced depression, resources were there for me. But right now, too many people don’t have access to the behavioral health care they need,” said Senator Smith. “We need to start treating mental health with the same urgency we treat physical health, and that starts by making sure everyone who needs help can get it. This bill

Sen. Smith, Rep. DeSaulnier Introduce Legislation to Limit Benefit Denials in Pension and Health Care Plans

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) and Congressman Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA-11) introduced legislation to protect workers’ and retirees’ rights to retirement and health benefits under employer-sponsored plans. “I believe that access to a court is a fundamental right.  But too often, workers and retirees are being wrongly denied the benefits they’ve earned or forced to jump through hoops to access benefits they were promised,” said Senator Smith. “It’s outrageous that employers are able to deny – often unilaterally – workers the right to appeal a claim denial in court, or impose huge burdens that make it nearly impossible to win a

In Senate Floor Speech, U.S. Senator Tina Smith Calls on Colleagues to Codify Roe v. Wade Into Law

WASHINGTON [5.10.22] — Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) delivered a speech from the Senate floor urging her colleagues to support the Women’s Health Protection Act, which would preserve the basic protections of Roe v. Wade in law. You can access video of Sen. Smith’s remarks here and the full remarks are included below. “Justice Alito, Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans, and radical Republican state legislators across the country believe that they should have the power – that they know better than American women, whose lives and stories they will never know,” said Sen. Smith in her remarks from the Senate floor. “To that I say: How dare

U.S. Senator Tina Smith Responds to Reported Supreme Court Draft Decision Overturning Roe

WASHINGTON, D.C. [05/02/22]—Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) released the following statement in response to reports that the Supreme Court is planning to overturn Roe v. Wade: “When I worked at Planned Parenthood in Minnesota, I saw firsthand how women had the capacity to make the right decisions for themselves. How dare Justice Alito and other Supreme Court justices think they know better.  “There is nothing more American than the right to freedom, autonomy, and self-determination. Yet the Supreme Court is preparing to strip that away for half the country.  “President Trump stole two Supreme Court seats. And Republicans will have to answer

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