NHMA Policy Statements

Statement by NHMA President and CEO Dr. Elena Rios on the Overturning of Roe v. Wade 

Washington, D.C. - June 24, 2022

The National Hispanic Medical Association (NHMA) staunchly condemns the United States Supreme Court’s decision to strike down Roe v. Wade. This ruling deliberately overlooks 50 years of legal precedent to bodily autonomy and privacy, ignoring the grave, preventable harm that violating access to abortion care will cause.

This decision will not end abortions in our country. Rather, it will reinstate the dangerous conditions that brought forth Roe v. Wade in the first place — conditions that suppress access to reproductive care and will result in countless injuries and deaths. The burden of this decision will fall most heavily on poor people and people of color, while the wealthy will continue to be able to access safe abortion services across state lines.

As of this morning, trigger laws resulting in near-total abortion bans have already gone into effect in over a dozen states. In Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Washington, D.C., the future of abortion care remains uncertain.

NHMA remains steadfast in our unwavering commitment to demand that Congress promptly codifies federal abortion protections into law in order to protect underserved communities.

We encourage members of the NHMA community to emphasize the resources available to patients, advocate for reproductive rights, and ensure the next vote you cast protects our communities.

Congress must act immediately.

Statement on Medicare Administrative Contractors' (MACs) Recent Decision to Exclude Medications from Coverage

Washington, D.C. - June 21, 2022

  • A recent decision by Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) could be detrimental to patient access to treatment and health outcomes.
  • Recently, a majority of the MACs have announced they intend to exclude an FDA-approved medicine that is currently administered by healthcare professionals in a physician’s office from coverage under the Medicare Part B program by deeming it a “usually self-administered drug” despite clear FDA-approved labeling that dictates the prescribed medicine is only intended to be administered by a healthcare provider and having no evidence that the drug is in fact being self-administered by Medicare beneficiaries.
  • The precedent setting announcement would result in adding drugs to the Self-Administered Drug (SAD) exclusion list that have not been approved for self-administration; have no instructions in the label for self-administration and moving the only option for accessing products to Medicare Part D where coverage is uncertain and where patients could not use products in accordance with FDA labeling.
  • This means vulnerable seniors and individuals with disabilities, especially those with limited health literacy levels and limited pharmacies that are easily accessible to them in their neighborhood, will lack equitable access to access to these new innovative therapies.
  • We urge the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to swiftly review the impact of this announcement and require the MACs to reverse this concerning decision that could potentially deny many vulnerable seniors from accessing medications they need to improve their health outcomes. This is especially troubling when we are dealing with a pandemic that has magnified health disparities for patients with chronic diseases.

Statement on House FDA User Fee Package

Washington, D.C. - May 10, 2022 - On May 4, the House Energy & Commerce Committee released a comprehensive legislative package that not only reauthorizes the Food and Drug Administration’s user fee agreements, but also tackles medical product safety; accelerated approval process; and diversity in clinical trials.

NHMA has been advocating for more representative clinical trials for years as increasing the participation of underrepresented populations in clinical trials would improve the efficacy of drugs. It has been widely known for many years that racial and ethnic minorities in the United States have higher rates of diseases such as asthma, diabetes, and obesity, and receive worse care. How new drugs interact within populations of non-European descent is crucial to improving healthcare treatment options and ensure that the best medical treatment is given to patients. NHMA strongly supports the reauthorization of FDA user fee agreements and calls on Congress to quickly pass this into law.”

NHMA Statement on Climate Investment 

Washington, D.C. - May 10, 2022 - The National Hispanic Medical Association urgently calls for the Senate to quickly pass the $550 billion in climate investments that the House passed at the close of 2021 as part of the Build Back Better bill. While the investments from the bipartisan infrastructure bill are a good start, the climate can’t wait any longer. Congressional action is essential to meeting the U.S.’s goal of 50-52% greenhouse gas emissions reductions by 2030. We need to combat climate change and invest in climate justice so that our future healthcare isn’t spent on combating preventable diseases and sickness caused by pollution and hazardous environments. Latinos and other underserved groups face the greatest burden from climate change and we urge you to support finding that will improve the health of all Americans. Please pass the $550 billion climate investments into law as soon as possible.

NHMA Statement on Reported Supreme Court Draft Decision Regarding Roe v. Wade

Washington, D.C. - May 5, 2022 - The National Hispanic Medical Association (NHMA) unequivocally opposes the leaked Supreme Court draft opinion that would overturn 

 v Wade. Abortion is healthcare and NHMA supports access to healthcare for all women. Should this decision stand, our communities will suffer as low-income women who want abortions will not have adequate access to them, thus, increasing health disparities in the U.S. NHMA is calling on Congress to codify access to abortion into law immediately so that women around the country do not have to needlessly suffer health complications and even death just to have access to healthcare. NHMA will continue to work with our partners to advocate to Congress for a woman’s right to choose an abortion. The time is now.

NHMA Statement on PETA's Research Modernization Deal

Washington, DC - January 20, 2022 - The National Hispanic Medical Association, representing the interests of 50,000 licensed Hispanic physicians in the United States, does not conduct, fund, commission, or support tests on animals. The NHMA strongly supports PETA’s ‘Research Modernization Deal.’ Animals used in laboratory experiments are biologically, physiologically, and anatomically different from human beings, making animal testing a suboptimal and highly error-prone endeavor that costs billions of taxpayer dollars each year while failing more than 90 percent of the time to deliver safe and effective treatments for patients. The need for better medical therapies is urgently increasing, and the solution starts with modernizing the research pipeline. By 2060, Latinos will face the largest increase in Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias cases of any racial or ethnic group in the country, which is due in part to an expected quadrupling of the number of Latinos age 65 and older, high prevalence of cardiovascular disease, and a greater incidence of diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, and depression compared to non-Hispanic whites. Everyone will benefit from replacing animal experiments with more effective human-based medical research, and PETA’s plan provides a guide for how to achieve this important transition.

 

NHMA Statement on the First COVID-19 Vaccine

Washington, DC - December 15, 2020 - The National Hispanic Medical Association (NHMA) applauds the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) emergency use authorization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) approval and Operation Warp Speed team’s distribution of the nation’s first COVID-19 vaccine for use for people 16 years of age and older in the U.S.

“The Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine, and others that are expected to be available in the U.S., represent a big step in battling the COVID-19 pandemic that has affected our families, especially Hispanics, with the burden of illness, isolation and depression, economic hardship and more” stated Dr. Elena Rios, President & CEO, NHMA. “COVID-19 will be decreased only if there is a widespread vaccine uptake in a community.”

NHMA plans to continue to work with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and key leaders of the public and private sectors to educate physicians and healthcare professionals and the public on the importance of obtaining the vaccine and to battle misinformation about the vaccine.

About NHMA: Established in 1994, NHMA represents 50,000 Hispanic physicians dedicated to improving the health of Hispanics and other underserved. For more information: www.NHMAmd.org

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SCOTUS Ruling on DACA Assures Young People Home is Here

Washington, D.C. – June 18, 2020 – In a 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court announced that the Trump administration’s decision to rescind the DACA program was “arbitrary and capricious.”

The National Hispanic Medical Association released the following statement:

Today’s ruling is a big and important step toward securing justice for Dreamers. Since its inception in 2012, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program has amassed nearly 800,000 immigrants, many of whom are helping in the frontlines during the pandemic, risking their health and safety.

The Center for American Progress estimates that around 29,000 DACA recipients were among the health care workers who were fighting against COVID-19. They stepped up and answered the call when their country needed them the most even with fear of deportation.

NHMA celebrates this momentous ruling and thanks the allies who fought hard to make it possible. We now call on the Senate to follow the House’s lead in passing the DREAM Act immediately.

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.

For more information about NHMA, please visit www.NHMAmd.org

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Trump Administration Rolls Back Important Health Care Protections For Vulnerable Communities During COVID-19 Pandemic

Section 1557 Final Rules Allows Health Care Providers to Discriminate

WASHINGTON, DC – June 15, 2020 – The National Hispanic Medical Association issued the following statement on the Trump’s administration’s final rule with the roll back of civil rights protections under Section 557 of the Affordable Care Act.

Rolling back critical civil rights protections is unconscionable and negligent during a global pandemic. The Trump administration continues its mission to dismantle the Affordable Care Act and attack marginalized and vulnerable communities with this rule.

Section 1557 protects individuals from discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including gender identity, sexual orientation, and sex stereotyping. This section also protects individuals with Limited English Proficiency (LEP) and individuals with disabilities and/or chronic conditions from discrimination.

The final rule rolls back civil rights protections by removing key notice requirements of informing individuals with LEP of their right to obtain assistance to obtain critical health care information. It also allows discrimination against LGBTQ+ people, people who have had or will need abortion care, and other reproductive health services.

Over 21 percent of the U.S. population, or 66 million people, speak a language other than English at home, with Spanish being the second most used language with 25 million of them speaking English less than “very well” and considered LEP. Adults and children with limited English proficiency are more likely to be uninsured than those who are English proficient.

NHMA calls on Congress to intervene and to protect everyone in accessing health care and health insurance. Actions that promote discrimination is unacceptable. NHMA calls upon its communities and members to mobilize in response to this new attack on vulnerable communities.

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.