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 Reintroduces Legislation to Expand Access to Lifesaving HIV Prevention Drugs

WASHINGTON, D.C. [6.29.23] – This month, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) and U.S. Representative Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.) introduced legislation that will expand access to lifesaving HIV prevention medications. The PrEP Access and Coverage Act addresses the underutilization of HIV prevention drugs – known as PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) and PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis) – by ensuring these medications and any associated costs are covered by health insurance. The measure also establishes community public health campaigns, and it expands access to the drugs for uninsured individuals and underserved communities. “Every person deserves access to affordable, high quality health care,” said Sen. Smith. “Too many people in Minnesota and across this country are unduly burdened by the high costs of HIV prevention drugs, and many others are going without this lifesaving preventative medication. This bill takes an important step towards ensuring that these highly effective medications are accessible and affordable for every patient who needs them.” “HIV prevention drugs shouldn’t be inaccessible and unaffordable,” said Rep. Schiff. “Senator Smith and I are reintroducing the PrEP Access and Coverage Act so that LGBTQ Americans – especially those from communities of color who experience disparities in health care – have access to the HIV medications and services they need.” “To end the HIV epidemic by 2030, we must expand our efforts to improve PrEP education and access,” said Torrian L. Baskerville, Director of HIV & Health Equity for the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. “It is especially critical to address decades-long inequities that disproportionately impact Black

U.S. Senator Tina Smith Reintroduces Legislation to Protect Access to Reproductive Health Care Funding

WASHINGTON, D.C. [6.23.23] – This week, U.S. Senators Tina Smith (D-MN), Patty Murray (D-WA), and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) introduced legislation to 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 rely on the program for essential health care. In 2020 alone, over 1.5 million patients received family planning services through Title X. Title X is funded through the annual appropriations process, which subjects the program to an unpredictable funding stream that is insufficient to meet the national need. The Expanding Access to Family Planning Act would provide a consistent and strong source of funding for Title X. The bill is cosponsored by Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), John Fetterman (D-PA), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), John Hickenlooper (D-CO), Jack Reed (D-RI), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Mark Warner (D-VA), Raphael Warnock (D-GA), Peter Welch (D- VT) ,and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI). Companion legislation was introduced in the House of Representatives by U.S. Representative Sharice Davids (KS-03). “At a time when Americans’ reproductive freedoms are under attack from extremist Republicans, the Title X Family Planning Program is more important than ever,” said Senator Smith. “Title X funding provides American women with access

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

U.S. Senator Tina Smith Reintroduces Bipartisan Legislation to Improve Coordination Between HHS and Urban Indian Organizations

WASHINGTON, [02.21.23] – U.S. Senators Tina Smith (D-MN) and Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) reintroduced bipartisan legislation that would help federal programs – from substance use treatment to Medicare and Medicaid – meet the unique needs of Indigenous communities and improve care. The Urban Indian Health Confer Act would require the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to confer with urban Indian organizations regarding health care for American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/ANs) living in urban areas – a critical step that will improve care for Indigenous communities and create parity between urban Indian organizations (UIOs) and other components of the

U.S. Senator Tina Smith and Rep. Cori Bush Re-Introduce Legislation to Protect Access to Medication Abortion

WASHINGTON [2.2.23] – Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) and U.S. Representative Cori Bush (D-MO) re-introduced a bill to defend access to medication abortion in states where the right to an abortion still exists. The Protecting Access to Medication Abortion Act 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 23 years since its approval, evidence has shown that mifepristone can be prescribed to patients without an in-person