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

Senator Smith’s Bipartisan Legislation to Secure Health Care for Veterans Exposed to Radiation Passes Senate

WASHINGTON, D.C. [8.3.22] – Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) announced that her bipartisan legislation securing health care benefits for “Atomic Veterans” who were exposed to harmful radiation has passed the Senate and is headed to President Biden’s desk. The bill was passed as part of the historic Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring Our PACT Act, which ensures millions of veterans exposed to noxious fumes emanating from burn pits will have access to Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) care and benefits. It is co-led by Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC). The Mark Takai Atomic Veterans Healthcare Parity Act would allow veterans who participated in the cleanup of Enewetak Atoll on the Marshall Islands to receive the same health care and benefits given to other servicemembers who were involved in active nuclear tests. From 1946 to 1958, the U.S. military conducted more than 40 nuclear tests in the islands, but the thousands of servicemembers who cleaned up the area were never made eligible to receive health benefits under the Radiation Compensation Exposure Act. “We have a solemn duty to take care of the men and women who serve in our armed forces. A big part of that is ensuring they can get the health care they need both during and after their service,” said Sen. Smith. “Americans who cleaned up the radiation-exposed Marshall Islands—where more than 40 nuclear tests took place in the 20th century—have been fighting for proper care for a long time. I’m proud to see this legislation become law

Senator Smith Announces Passage of Historic Bill to Ensure Veterans Receive the Health Care They’ve Earned

WASHINGTON, D.C. [8.3.22] – Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) announced the Senate passed the most significant expansion of benefits and health services for veterans in more than 30 years. The historic Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring Our PACT Act ensures millions of veterans exposed to noxious fumes emanating from burn pits will have access to Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) care and benefits.  The bill’s passage comes after Senate Republicans voted to block the bipartisan deal last week, which many of them had previously voted for. The bill will now head to President Biden’s desk where it will be signed into law. “I have heard heartbreaking stories from veterans in Minnesota and across the country who have fallen ill after serving our country and can’t access the health care they were promised,” said Senator Smith. “This bill is the largest expansion of benefits for service-connected health issues in 30 years and will mean quicker access to health care services for the millions of veterans who have been exposed to harmful toxins. I am thrilled to see this legislation on its way to President Biden’s desk, though it should have been there sooner. The health of American veterans should never be used as a political bargaining chip, and I thank the advocates and veterans who made their voices heard and ensured this bill made it across the finish line.” Named after Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson who died in 2020 from toxic exposure as a result of his military

Sen. Smith, Rep. DeSaulnier Introduce Legislation to Limit Benefit Denials in Pension and Health Care Plans

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) and Congressman Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA-11) introduced legislation to protect workers’ and retirees’ rights to retirement and health benefits under employer-sponsored plans. “I believe that access to a court is a fundamental right.  But too often, workers and retirees are being wrongly denied the benefits they’ve earned or forced to jump through hoops to access benefits they were promised,” said Senator Smith. “It’s outrageous that employers are able to deny – often unilaterally – workers the right to appeal a claim denial in court, or impose huge burdens that make it nearly impossible to win a

In Senate Floor Speech, U.S. Senator Tina Smith Calls on Colleagues to Codify Roe v. Wade Into Law

WASHINGTON [5.10.22] — Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) delivered a speech from the Senate floor urging her colleagues to support the Women’s Health Protection Act, which would preserve the basic protections of Roe v. Wade in law. You can access video of Sen. Smith’s remarks here and the full remarks are included below. “Justice Alito, Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans, and radical Republican state legislators across the country believe that they should have the power – that they know better than American women, whose lives and stories they will never know,” said Sen. Smith in her remarks from the Senate floor. “To that I say: How dare

U.S. Senator Tina Smith Responds to Reported Supreme Court Draft Decision Overturning Roe

WASHINGTON, D.C. [05/02/22]—Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) released the following statement in response to reports that the Supreme Court is planning to overturn Roe v. Wade: “When I worked at Planned Parenthood in Minnesota, I saw firsthand how women had the capacity to make the right decisions for themselves. How dare Justice Alito and other Supreme Court justices think they know better.  “There is nothing more American than the right to freedom, autonomy, and self-determination. Yet the Supreme Court is preparing to strip that away for half the country.  “President Trump stole two Supreme Court seats. And Republicans will have to answer

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