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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

U.S. Sen. Tina Smith Leads Bipartisan Push to Lower Wasteful Health Care Spending

WASHINGTON, D.C. [09/18/18]—U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.)—along with Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.)—are leading bipartisan legislation to help develop innovative ways to reduce unnecessary administrative cost burdens.   Estimates suggest that while administrative cost burdens could account for over one quarter of total health care spending in the United States, much of it is not directly related to delivering quality patient care. Sens. Smith and Cassidy’s bill directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services to take steps toward reducing unnecessary administrative costs across the health care system by at least 50 percent. It also provides support for states to tackle

Sen. Tina Smith: Bipartisan Bill to Help Patients in Minnesota, Across the Country Pay Lower Prices for Prescription Drugs One Step Closer to Becoming Law

WASHINGTON, D.C. [09/26/18]—U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) said today that a measure she helped push through the Senate—which would help patients in Minnesota and across the country pay less  for their prescription drugs—has also passed the House, clearing the way for the President to sign it into law. Sen. Smith said The Patient Right to Know Drug Prices Act prohibits “gag clauses” that prevent pharmacists from telling customers that they could save money by paying cash rather than using their insurance. It passed the Senate earlier this month.   “Medication is expensive enough as it is, there is no reason that drug industry

U.S. Sen. Tina Smith Outlines Bipartisan Steps Administration Can Take to Help Farmers in Minnesota, Across the Country

WASHINGTON, D.C. [09/26/18]—Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.), a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, pressed the President and other top Trump Administration farm and trade officials to quickly take several meaningful steps to address the growing economic unease being felt by farmers and ranchers in Minnesota and across the country. In a letter sent Wednesday, Sen. Smith outlined several immediate steps the President and top Administration farm and trade officials could take to open markets for farm products and provide relief to farmers hit hard by trade uncertainties and falling farm prices.  “During my recent conversations with Minnesota farmers, I

After Months-Long Tour of State, U.S. Sen. Tina Smith Introduces Bill to Improve Access to Child Care in Minnesota, Nationwide

WASHINGTON, D.C. [10/01/18]—After hearing from families, business, and community leaders across Minnesota throughout this year, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) has introduced legislation to address the growing child care shortage across the state. Sen. Smith said the shortage is not only hurting Minnesota working families who often must travel many miles to find child care, but it’s also stifled local businesses’ ability to attract workers, and it’s cut short many communities’ efforts to grow and prosper.  Her legislation, the Child Care Supply Improvement Act, would provide assistance for child care facilities, support child care providers in areas related to safety and

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