Affordable High-Quality Health Care

Tina hears a lot about the cost of health care. And here’s the thing: Health care is a basic human right. The care you get shouldn’t depend on your zip code, your health history, or your bank account. And the big drug companies shouldn’t be able to game the system to charge whatever they can. It’s why Tina serves on the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee and as the Co-Chair of the bipartisan Rural Health Caucus and continues to lead in the fight for more affordable and comprehensive health care.

In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, Tina worked hard to make sure Minnesota’s families, small businesses, and health care workers were getting the resources they need. As part of the CARES Act, Tina championed portions of the legislation that would ensure private insurance plans cover a COVID-19 vaccine without cost-sharing when it becomes available. She also fought to put measures in place that would prevent drug shortages and protect our medical supply chain. Additionally, she secured her Free COVID-19 Testing Act, which waives cost-sharing for COVID-19 diagnostic tests. She helped secure $3.5 billion in additional funding for childcare assistance for frontline workers and made sure rural and telehealth programs were supported. And Tina fought to secure more than $8 billion in critical funding for Tribes and the Indian Health Service.

The COVID-19 crisis has highlighted pieces of our health care system that must be addressed — and Tina has a strong track record of working hard to make sure Minnesotans have access to the health care and coverage they need.

The very first thing Tina did when she got to the Senate was to take on the big drug companies with a bill that would punish the price gougers and make prescription drugs more affordable for every American. She’s also introduced a comprehensive bill, the Affordable Medications Act, that will allow Medicare to negotiate prices, and increase transparency of how Big Pharma spends their money. With bipartisan support, Tina also introduced the Emergency Access to Insulin Act, and she then helped introduce the Affordable Insulin Approvals Now Act, which would help bring more low-cost insulin products to market and drive down the price of insulin. Tina will take on anyone who doesn’t get it — no matter how powerful they are.

Tina also knows the importance of building an American medical supply chain that expands drug manufacturing in America, so we don’t have to rely on other countries to produce our medicine. It will make drugs more accessible and easy to distribute in a crisis.

Tina also believes we need a strong federal response to the opioid epidemic — one that boosts prevention, treatment, and law enforcement efforts. Tina has heard first-hand how the opioid epidemic has touched nearly every community in Minnesota, which led her to help write bipartisan opioids legislation – signed into law on October 24, 2018 – which will bring $1.5 billion in funding for states, Tribes, and communities to bolster their prevention, treatment, and recovery efforts. She also voted for a bipartisan budget deal that added $6 billion in funding for the opioid response and co-sponsored legislation that advances drug treatment and holds corporations making opioids responsible for the epidemic.

Tina supports Senator Brian Schatz’s State Public Option Act, allowing Americans to purchase Medicaid coverage, and Senators Jeff Merkley and Chris Murphy’s Choose Medicare Act, which would allow individuals and businesses to buy into an enhanced benefit plan under Medicare.

And finally, Tina strongly believes health is health — regardless of whether it is mental health or physical health. The time has come for us to include mental health in the health care discussion and to once and for all end the stigma around mental illness. It’s why Tina shared her own experience with depression and why she won’t stop fighting for everyone, especially kids who experience mental health issues. In the Senate, Tina introduced the bipartisan Improving Access to Mental Health Act with Senator Lisa Murkowski to help bring mental health services into schools and communities, part of which was signed into law as part of the larger opioids bill in October 2018.

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