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. 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. 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
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
WASHINGTON [01/06/23] – U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) and John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Co-Chairs of the Senate Rural Health Caucus, announced that their bipartisan bill to improve rural health care was signed into law by President Biden. 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. “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 bipartisan legislation will help make sure State Offices of Rural Health
U.S. Senator Tina Smith Statement on Recent Decisions by FDA and Justice Department Protecting Access to Medication Abortion
WASHINGTON [1/6/22] – Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) released the following statement on recent announcements by the FDA and Justice Department regarding the availability of abortion pills: “These two decisions by the Justice Department and the FDA are big steps in the right direction and will ensure millions of women across the country have access to medication abortion. But these decisions can be overturned by a future administration and we need more permanent solutions. By attacking and undermining access to safe and effective medications, Republicans are saying that government – not women, not their health care providers – should