2019 NHMA Policy Statements

November 2019

National Hispanic Medical Association
Supports the 100% Clean Economy Act of  2019

Washington, D.C. – The American people have made it clear that they want bold solutions to address the climate crisis. That’s why the National Hispanic Medical Association (NHMA) supports the 100% Clean Economy Act of 2019. This bill, announced by U.S. Representatives Donald McEachin, Deb Haaland, Debbie Dingell, Earl Blumenauer, Paul Tonko, and Chellie Pingree, would transition our country to a 100% clean energy economy by 2050 and require a net zero carbon pollution.

As medical professionals, we cannot overstate the fact that climate change is a public health crisis, and our Latino communities – particularly children and the elderly – are already suffering from the impacts of increased pollution. Studies have shown Latino children are 40 percent more likely to die from an asthma attack than their non-Latino counterparts. It is also a fact that nearly two-in-five Latinos live within 30 miles of a carbon power plant.

We know that the time to act on climate is now and we urge the House of Representatives to pass this important legislation that protects our communities’ health and bolsters America’s clean energy economy.

NHMA is a non-profit organization that seeks to empower Hispanic Physicians to lead efforts that improve the health and wellness of Hispanic and other underserved groups. NHMA represents the interests of more than 50,000 licensed physicians, providing leadership and advocacy for its members and partners across the country.

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May 2019 

National Hispanic Medical Association Statement on the Fifth Death of Migrants under U.S. Government Custody

The National Hispanic Medical Association (NHMA) is saddened by the death of the 5th minor who has died in U.S. Customs & Border Patrol (CBP) custody this year, Carlos Gregorio Hernandez Vasquez. In accordance with the Geneva Declaration of the rights of the child, minors deserve health care that meets guideline-based standards, treatment that mitigates harm, and services that support their health and well-being. Considering that this is not an isolated incident, but a reflection of the current system, it is imperative that CBP and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) update their practices to be in accordance to federal law and universal human rights to ensure that there is not a 6th minor that passes away under CPB custody.

NHMA urges Congress to conduct a thorough and proper investigation, ensure transparency about the results from the investigation, and hold the CBP and officers who neglected Carlos and the other migrant children who have died under CPB custody this year accountable for their actions.

February 2019

National Hispanic Medical Association Condemns
Trump’s Unethical and Dangerous Gag Rule
Rule threatens to block access to essential health care for 1.3M Latinos

Washington, DC—  Today, the Trump-Pence administration finalized a gag rule that undermines Title X, the nation’s program for affordable birth control and reproductive health care, and makes it illegal for health care providers in the program to refer patients for an abortion.  This leaves patients without the full information about their medical options and endangers the trust that patients have in their health care providers. Many health centers would be unable to continue participating in the program, putting the health care of the four million patients who access care through Title X — including more than 1.3 million who are Hispanic or Latino — at risk.

Nearly one-third of the patients in the Title X program identify as people of color, and one-third are Hispanic or Latino. Dismantling Title X will limit health care options even further and worsen the massive divide that already exists in health care.

Statement from Elena Rios, MD, MSPH, FACP President & CEO  

“The National Hispanic Medical Association, representing 50,000 Hispanic physicians, is outraged by the Trump administration’s gag rule. The rule violates medical ethics, severely limits access to health care services that would improve health outcomes for Hispanics, and would undo the progress we have made in increasing access to care for Hispanics through the Affordable Care Act.

 “Like other policies being advanced by the Trump-Pence administration, this rule will have dire and disproportionate consequences for Hispanic and Latino patients, who make up 33 percent of all patients who access care through Title X. As medical providers, we cannot silently stand by and allow the Trump administration to continue to chip away at access to and advances in health care.”

 If health care providers like Planned Parenthood —  which serves 41 percent (1.6 million) of the four million people who rely on Title X program health centers  —  can no longer participate in the Title X program, many people could have nowhere else to turn for birth control, STI testing, cancer screenings, and other essential reproductive health care.Many community health centers have already said they’re unable to fill this gap.

The National Hispanic Medical Association is proud to stand alongside the American Medical Association, the National Medical Association, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the American College of Physicians in opposition to this rule. In addition, more than 200 members of Congress and 100 public health organizations have come out in opposition to a gag policy. This rule is also opposed by the general public. When the rule was announced, more than 500,000 Americans voiced their opposition by submitting comments to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

January 2019 

Washington, DC (January 10, 2019) – The National Hispanic Medical Association released the following statement in response to proposed bills allowing for the importation of foreign drugs and regulatory barriers into the US medical system:

“As physicians, we have deep concerns that the recently proposed legislation would not only limit patients’ access to critical treatments but also expose them to potentially unvetted, counterfeit medications. Arbitrary price indexes, such as the one proposed, may tie the hands of providers and leave seniors unable to access treatments for chronic, often complex conditions. Compounding matters, the introduction of imported medications into our system brings additional health concerns as patients may be exposed to ineffective or possibly harmful drugs outside regulators’ control. Patients deserve quality care that they can trust. These bills, unfortunately, undermine both.”