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’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

U.S. Senator Tina Smith’s Bipartisan Mental Health Care Measures Signed Into Law

WASHINGTON, D.C. [1/13/23] — U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) announced two of her bipartisan mental health care bills were signed into law by President Biden two weeks ago.  The provisions will take important steps to address the mental health crisis and improve Tribal health services. “I know firsthand the importance of mental health services.  These measures will help expand access to mental health care in Minnesota and across this country,” said Sen. Smith. “It gives us the tools to make significant progress tackling the mental health crisis, upholding our commitments to Tribal Nations, and more.” Provisions based on Smith’s Improving Access to Behavioral Health Integration Act will provide funding for primary care practices to implement evidence-based behavioral health integration programs. In addition, the law will establish grants for Tribal governments, Tribal organizations, urban Indian organizations, and Tribal health programs to receive funds for culturally-competent mental and behavioral health services for Native Americans. The bills were included in the year-end government funding package that was recently signed into law.  In addition to Smith’s mental health bills, the law also includes many other important provisions supported by Sen. Smith such as the Electoral Count Reform Act, support for the people of Ukraine, fully funding provisions of the PACT Act, permanently extending postpartum coverage for mothers on Medicaid and CHIP, increasing child care and housing access, and more.

Senators Smith, Wyden Introduce Legislation to Strengthen Mental Health Care Coverage, Hold Insurance Companies Accountable

WASHINGTON, D.C. [11/15/22] — Today, U.S. Senators Tina Smith (D-Minn.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), introduced legislation to improve mental health coverage. Specifically, the bill would crack down on inaccurate health care provider listings or “ghost networks,” and create stronger enforcement standards to protect those seeking mental health care.   “We need to treat mental health with the same urgency we treat physical health, and that means making sure everyone has access to the care they need,” said Sen. Smith. “By law, insurance companies must cover mental health just like they cover physical health, yet they’re still finding ways to dodge compliance

Klobuchar, Smith Announce Significant Investments to Improve Health Care in Rural Minnesota

Washington, D.C. [11/7/22] — Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith (both D-MN) announced significant federal investments that will improve health care quality and accessibility in Greater Minnesota. These grants – over $1.8 million in total – will help health care organizations and providers expand critical services and recover from lost revenue in the wake of the pandemic. “This funding will make health care more accessible for rural communities across our state by helping providers expand services, purchase new ambulances, and upgrade facilities to improve the safety of patients and frontline workers,” said Klobuchar. “I’ll keep pushing for resources to ensure that

Senator Smith, Colleagues Release New Report Detailing Devastating Harms Posed by State Abortion Bans

Washington D.C. [11.01.22] – U.S. Senators Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), and Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), released a new report detailing the devastating consequences of Republican-led state abortion bans and restrictions.The 23-page report – based on information provided by leading health care providers – reveals the effects of these radical laws on women’s access to health care as described by health care organizations representing doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and hospitals. The report also shows the disastrous impact Republicans’ proposed national abortion ban would have on women’s health and the entire health care system. “This report confirms exactly what

Senators Smith, Barrasso Introduce Bipartisan Reauthorization of Key Program Aimed at Improving Rural Health Care

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Tina Smith (D-Minn.) and John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Co-Chairs of the Senate Rural Health Caucus, introduced bipartisan legislation to reauthorize a key program that supports state health facilities across the country to help improve health care in rural areas. “When I meet with families, farmers, businesses and community leaders in rural Minnesota, one of the first issues that comes up is healthcare,” said Senator Smith. “This bipartisan legislation will make sure State Offices of Rural Health have the resources they need to expand and improve healthcare services in rural communities. I’ll keep working to get this