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. 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

Sen. Tina Smith’s Bipartisan Bill to Stop Unscrupulous Big Pharma Tactic, Lower Drug Prices for Minnesotans Takes Key Step Forward

WASHINGTON, D.C. [6.14.22] – Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith’s (D-MN) legislation—the Expanding Access to Low Cost Generic Drugs Act—was included with bipartisan support in a major funding bill. The legislation takes aim at a Big Pharma tactic that keeps affordable generic drugs out of the hands of Minnesota families and seniors. “Since I came to the Senate, taking on big pharmaceutical companies and lowering prescription drug prices has been a top priority for me.” said Sen. Smith, a member of the Senate Health Committee. “That’s why the first bill I ever introduced addressed a loophole that big pharmaceutical companies exploit in order to force Americans into buying overpriced drugs. It’s a commonsense measure with bipartisan support—because really, unless you’re the CEO of a big drug company, you shouldn’t be opposed to this idea. I’m thrilled that it has taken this critical step forward.” Sen. Smith’s bill gets at the heart of a major concern facing Minnesota families and seniors right now: prescription drug prices. Around 25 percent of Americans who take prescription drugs report difficulty affording them. And while generic drugs are often a much less expensive alternative to name-brand drugs, giant drug companies pay money to keep those generics off the market—an anti-competitive tactic called “parking.” Parking happens when a brand-name manufacturer agrees not to sue the first company to create a generic version of that drug—a so called “first filer”—if the generic company agrees to delay bringing that drug to market. The Expanding Access to Low Cost Generic

Sens. Smith, Stabenow, and Rep. Maloney Lead Colleagues in Introducing Bicameral Package of Legislation to Target Abusive Pharmaceutical Business Practices

Washington, D.C. [04.07.22]—Today, Sens. Tins Smith (D-MN), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), and Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY-12), led colleagues—including Rep. Peter Welch and Rep. Jan Schakowsky—in introducing a package of legislation targeting business practices pharmaceutical companies use to suppress competition, maintain market monopolies, and keep drug prices high. The legislative reforms follow the Oversight Committee’s three-year investigation into pharmaceutical pricing and business practices that exposed pharmaceutical company practices to suppress competition from lower-priced generics and biosimilars and make drug prices unaffordable for many Americans.  “There is no good reason Americans should be paying more than any country in the world for

Sens. Smith, Stabenow, and Rep. Maloney Lead Colleagues in Introducing Bicameral Package of Legislation to Target Abusive Pharmaceutical Business Practices

Washington, D.C. [04.07.22]—Today, Sens. Tins Smith (D-MN), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), and Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY-12), led colleagues—including Rep. Peter Welch and Rep. Jan Schakowsky—in introducing a package of legislation targeting business practices pharmaceutical companies use to suppress competition, maintain market monopolies, and keep drug prices high. The legislative reforms follow the Oversight Committee’s three-year investigation into pharmaceutical pricing and business practices that exposed pharmaceutical company practices to suppress competition from lower-priced generics and biosimilars and make drug prices unaffordable for many Americans.  “There is no good reason Americans should be paying more than any country in the world for

Sens. Smith, Cotton and Reps. Craig, Mullin Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Boost U.S. Pharmaceutical Manufacturing

WASHINGTON [4.5.22]– Today, Senators Tina Smith (D-MN), Tom Cotton (R-AR), and Representatives Angie Craig (D-MN) and Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) introduced bipartisan legislation to reduce dependence on foreign pharmaceutical manufacturing and boost production in the U.S.    The pandemic has exposed our nation’s dependence on other countries for essential prescription drugs.  Seventy-two percent of key pharmaceutical ingredients come from overseas, threatening the security of the supply chain and leading to shortages of essential prescription drugs. In fact, 29 of the 40 critical drugs for COVID-19 patients were in shortage at the start of the pandemic.  The American Made Pharmaceuticals Act would

Sen. Smith, Senate Colleagues Urge Key Federal Agency to Address Medical Debt

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Tina Smith (D-MN) joined her colleagues in a letter to Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Rohit Chopra highlighting the growing medical debt burden faced by consumers. Specifically, the letter urges the CFPB to address the growing medical debt burden faced by U.S. consumers, and establish an ombudsman position for consumer medical debt. The ombudsman would help resolve consumer complaints and ensure compliance with federal directives, like the ban on surprise medical bills. An ombudsman could also monitor the changes announced last week by Equifax, Experian, and Transunion to ensure that the proposed change to medical debt

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