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.
U.S. Senators Smith, Braun Reintroduce Bipartisan Legislation to Address Big Pharma Ploy That Keeps Drug Prices High for Consumers
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Tina Smith (D-MN) and Mike Braun (R-IN), reintroduced bipartisan legislation to address a big pharma ploy that prevents access to affordable prescription drugs for millions of people across the country. The Expanding Access to Low-Cost Generics Act—which was the first piece of Senate legislation introduced by Sen. Smith in 2018—addresses an anti-competitive prescription drug practice called “parking.” “Parking” occurs when a brand name manufacturer agrees not to sue the first company that submits an application to create a generic version of that drug—a so-called “first filer”—as long as the generic company agrees to delay bringing that generic drug to market. No other company can bring a generic version of a brand name drug to market until 180 days after the first filer has done so. These anti-competitive agreements among drug companies allow fewer lower-cost generic products to come to market and keep prices higher for consumers. Right now at least 75 percent of “first filer” generic products have delayed their market entry due to “parking” arrangements with brand-name companies. The Senators’ bipartisan bill takes major steps toward eliminating this practice. “When I travel around Minnesota, the high price of prescription drugs is always one of the first things families and seniors talk to me about,” said Sen. Smith, a member of the Senate Health Committee. “This bill takes important steps toward ending anti-competitive practices that big pharmaceutical companies exploit to keep drug prices high and unaffordable for people in Minnesota and across the country.” “Everywhere
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 the stigma around mental health and working to expand access so Americans get the help they need. “I’ve shared my own story with depression because I want anyone suffering from a mental health issue to know they are not alone. We can all help break the stigma around talking about this, but de-stigmatizing and de-mystifying mental illness is just the beginning. We have to make sure mental health resources are available to everyone,” said Sen. Smith, a member of the Senate Health Committee. “We need to pass our bipartisan bill to help close the holes in the net we build to catch people when they fall and need help.” “Alaska continues to be disproportionally impacted by mental health and substance use disorders; and across the nation, mental and behavioral health workforce shortages are critically affecting access to care. This is especially true in rural communities,” said Sen. Murkowski. “Building on
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