NHMA Policy Statements

NHMA Leads Coalition Letter to Secretary Becerra in Support of Continued COVID-19 Therapeutics Efforts

NHMA, leading a coalition, has sent a letter to Secretary Becerra in support of ongoing therapeutics to combat COVID-19. The recent FDA Emergency Use Authorization of Pemgarda, a monoclonal antibody treatment, represents a significant stride in the fight against the virus. NHMA commends this milestone but underscores the need for equitable access and affordability. Vulnerable populations, notably the immunocompromised, require assurance of access to these vital therapies. NHMA urges Secretary Becerra to extend coverage guidance for Pemgarda and other treatments, echoing past efforts for vaccine accessibility. Prioritizing access ensures that all Americans can benefit from these critical resources in our battle against the pandemic.

NHMA Nevada Chapter and 12 Organizations Respond to Delayed Proposed Menthol Cigarette Rule

Washington, DC - April 29, 2024 — The joint letter authored by the National Hispanic Medical Association (NHMA) Nevada Chapter and 12 other allied organizations urges President Biden to take action on the delay of the FDA menthol rule. The scientific evidence supporting the removal of menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars in the U.S. market is irrefutable, and the further delay announced on April 26 by Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra will continue to have detrimental impacts on Black and Brown communities.

NHMA and 31 Organizations Issue Joint Letter in Opposition to CMS Proposed Rule

Washington, DC - April 25, 2024 — The joint letter authored by the National Hispanic Medical Association (NHMA) and 31 other allied organizations serves as a collective voice echoing concerns over the potential repercussions of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' (CMS) pending final rule of the Misclassification of Drugs, Program Administration and Program Integrity Updates Under the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program. Through this unified effort, NHMA and its partners aim to advocate for policies that uphold principles of fairness, inclusivity, and accessibility within the Medicaid Program, safeguarding the well-being of all beneficiaries.

NHMA Applauds Congressional Resolution to Designate October 1st as “National Latino and Latina Physician Day”

Washington, DC - September 28, 2023 — The National Hispanic Medical Association (NHMA) applauds Congressman Raul Ruiz, MD (D-CA-25), Congresswoman Yadira Caraveo, MD (D-CO-08) and Congresswoman María Elvira Salazar (R-FL-27) for introducing a House resolution, with Senator Alex Padilla (D-CA) and Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) introducing a Senate resolution, to designate October 1st as “National Latino and Latina Physician Day” to recognize our Latino and Latina physicians providing health care to countless people each and every day across the country.

NHMA is a non-profit association representing the interests of 50,000 licensed Hispanic physicians in the United States. We are dedicated to empowering Hispanic physicians to be leaders who will help eliminate health disparities and improve the health of Hispanics in the United States.

The Hispanic population in the United States has reached 63.7 million, making it the nation’s largest racial or ethnic minority — 19.1% of the total population. Despite this growth, Latinos represent only 6% percent of the physician workforce.

We must build a physician workforce that expands the number of Hispanic physicians in the country, meets the needs of the U.S. population, and provides high-quality, patient-centered, affordable, and culturally and linguistically competent health care.

NHMA Applauds Reintroduction of the Treat & Reduce Obesity Act

Washington, DC - July 20, 2023 — “The National Hispanic Medical Association applauds U.S. Senators Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.) and Representatives Raul Ruiz (D-Calif.) and Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio) for reintroducing the Treat and Reduce Obesity Act. This bill is a critical first step to address our country’s escalating obesity epidemic and its disproportionate impact on Hispanic communities.

Our current healthcare policies deny millions from accessing the care they need to treat this chronic, deadly disease — perpetuating health inequities and preserving roots of systemic racism that have put access to health care out of reach for millions.

The Treat and Reduce Obesity Act is vital to begin modernizing an outdated statutory restriction in Medicare policy to ensure that we are removing barriers to care and treatment for communities disproportionately shouldering the burden of this disease. We urge the Senate and House to pass this legislation without delay."

Statement by NHMA on Supreme Court Decision to End Affirmative Action In College Admissions

Washington, DC, June 29, 2023 – The National Hispanic Medical Association (NHMA) condemns the Supreme Court of the United States decision based on the cases against Harvard College and the University of North Carolina striking down race-based admissions in all colleges and universities across the country.

This ruling against affirmative action in higher education rolls back decades of precedent to the 1950’s era of Brown v. Board of Education.

Our nation’s future depends on racial equity and diversity in higher education to achieve upward mobility for our families and greater prosperity among our multicultural communities that leads to a thriving economy. We must continue to work together to achieve this goal.

We call on government and philanthropy to commit long-term financial investments to community based organizations to develop innovative strategies that will continue to prepare students for the application process that will support diversity in higher education.


About the National Hispanic Medical Association (NHMA). Established in 1994 in Washington D.C., NHMA is the premier non-profit membership association representing the interests of 50,000 licensed Hispanic physicians in the United States. The mission of NHMA is to empower Hispanic physician leaders to improve the health of Hispanics in the United States.


NHMA Statement on Florida’s Discriminatory and Harmful Legislation Signed into Law

Washington, DC, June 1, 2023 – The National Hispanic Medical Association (NHMA) condemns Governor Ron DeSantis’ signing of discriminatory and harmful legislation into state law because we are dedicated to improving health care access and outcomes for all who reside in the U.S.

Legislation which imposes some of the harshest penalties and restrictions in the country on immigrants by limiting their employment opportunities, requiring hospitals to collect patients’ citizenship status, and depriving free movement in the state of Florida. Legislation which bans public colleges and universities from using state or federal funds for programs that “advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion.” Legislation which enables medical professionals and certain insurers to deny patients care based on religious, moral or ethical beliefs. It is a broad license for health care providers and insurance companies to refuse services to people. It will decrease access to health care and undermine public health. Floridians will hesitate when seeking health care in the state of Florida, or worse, it will cause a scenario where someone forgoes medically necessary treatment out of fear of retribution.

As an organization founded on the most vital oath of medical practice, to "do no harm", NHMA stands against any and all legislation that targets the health access and well-being of underserved communities. Discriminatory beliefs should not be wielded as a sword to deny critical medical care.

Hispanic physicians, Hispanic-serving physicians and health care professionals encompass a diverse, multiethnic population, who are often bilingual and are more likely to practice medicine in rural and underserved communities. They provide a tremendous resource to patients who often face challenges accessing health care services or communicating needs.

We encourage all of our physicians, partners, community leaders, and allies to stay up to date on legislation in their state, contact their representatives, make sure they're registered to vote, and continue to work with patients to establish the trust necessary to ensure a healthier future for all.


Statement by NHMA President and CEO Dr. Elena Rios on Ensuring Full Access to Reproductive Health Care

Washington, DC, April 14, 2023 – The National Hispanic Medical Association (NHMA) remains committed to ensuring full access to women’s health care amid the growing challenge and corrosion of women’s reproductive health care in the U.S.

It’s becoming harder for women to access reproductive health services as doctors are quitting medicine and hospitals face closures, an especially devastating impact on Hispanic and Latino communities access to care across the country. We recognize doctors may have concerns due to legal and financial risks they may face carrying out their lawful federal duties.

Yet, it remains important for all Americans to have access to FDA approved, safe and effective medications. NHMA recognizes FDA approval of a drug reflects a rigorous science-based drug approval process which provides benefits that outweigh its risks. It is reckless to interfere with the scientific review and advisory process and medical experts at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). NHMA opposes judicial interference in FDA approval and regulation of medication for all Americans.


Statement by NHMA President and CEO Dr. Elena Rios on Gun Violence

NHMA Physicians and Partners Organize Policy Forum Against Gun Violence, Advocate for Urgent Common Sense Gun Reform

Washington, DC - February 2, 2023
- In just the first month of 2023, the United States has already suffered over 50 mass shootings — a staggering figure that sadly reaffirms the epidemic of gun violence as a public health crisis requiring urgent action by federal and state officials.

In response to unfettered gun violence in the U.S., the National Hispanic Medical Association (NHMA) adamantly renews its calls for the enactment of widely popular, bipartisan, and common sense gun reform measures.

Our country’s leaders must swiftly address the tragic cycle of preventable harm that continues to plague the health and safety of our communities, which often disproportionately affects Latino people and communities of color. NHMA recognizes that physicians and health professionals serve on the frontlines of the tragic reality of gun violence and play a crucial role in highlighting the gravity of this crisis.

 On January 26, 2023, the NHMA Texas Chapter and our partner Texas Doctors for Social Responsibility (TDSR) hosted their fifth annual public health policy forum, ‘Gun Violence: A Preventable Public Health Epidemic.’ NHMA applauds NHMA Board Member and Texas Chapter Co-Chair Dr. Bert Johansson as well as Texas Chapter Co-Chair and TDSR President and Board Chair Dr. Jaime Estrada for convening health experts, public officials, and community leaders for a powerful discussion on advancing collective action.

“We commend our physicians and valued partners for their leadership and we support ongoing advocacy to pass long overdue national and local gun control laws that are proven to save lives.” - Dr. Elena Rios, NHMA President and CEO

 NHMA stands committed to empowering our physician network and working alongside partners and officials to realize change and protect our communities. We must honor the victims of gun violence through federal action.


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

Washington, DC - 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, DC - 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, DC - 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, DC - 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, DC - 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


SCOTUS Ruling on DACA Assures Young People Home is Here

Washington, DC – 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


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.


November 2019

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

Washington, DC – 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.


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.”


October 2018:

Washington, DC (October 25, 2018) — The National Hispanic Medical Association has issued the following statement in response to the announcement made by the Department of Health and Human Services on changes to the Medicare Part B program:

“The mission of the National Hispanic Medical Association is to improve the health of Hispanic and other underserved populations. Medicare Part B programs serve as a key part of this initiative, by providing treatment coverage to patients living with chronic conditions such as cancer. Physicians to chronically ill patients often must specialize in care plans based on each person’s unique needs to ensure the treatment is effective.

The proposed changes would insert middlemen into that process, disrupting the crucial doctor-patient relationship and potentially restricting access to treatments. Additionally, the included reimbursement model changes could further limit the range of treatment options offered. Put simply, this proposal could have detrimental effects on the overall health of Hispanic patients and the senior population at large.”

September 2018:

Trump Administration proposed a change to Immigration Policy will harm our Community

The National Hispanic Medical Association, representing 50,000 Hispanic physicians, strongly opposes the Public Charge Proposal that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced on September 22, 2018. “The proposed rule change would greatly undermine achievements made in access to prevention and medical care for Latino legal immigrants by limiting nutrition, health care, and medications and housing assistance programs, which are essential to living a healthy life,” said Dr. Elena Rios, president & CEO of the National Hispanic Medical Association, and we fear many immigrants who have been long-term U.S. workers will be deported.”

Since 1892, the Federal immigration law has a “public charge” test that makes immigrants ineligible for entry to the United States or permanent residence (green card), if they depend or may in the future depend on government as their main resource for living expenses. Under current policy government support of emergency health care, prevention of infectious diseases, disaster relief, nutrition programs, and housing assistance programs are not counted towards public charge. The benefi­ts considered in determining who is likely to become a public charge are cash assistance such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and government-funded institutional long-term care. Furthermore, the Clinton-era welfare reforms already put major social service programs out of reach for most legal immigrants until they’ve been here for five years.

The Trump Administration is now calling for healthcare and other benefits that meet basic needs that could be considered in a “public charge” determination such as:

  • Non-emergency Medicaid (with limited exceptions for certain disability services related to education),
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP),
  • Low-Income Subsidy for prescription drug costs under Medicare Part D, and
  • Housing assistance such as Section 8 housing vouchers.

The proposal would make—and has already made—immigrant families afraid to seek programs that support their basic needs. If the rule is ­finalized in its proposed form, this would mark a signifi­cant and harmful departure from the current policy and call for a direct attack at poor immigrants, thus favoring upper-class immigrants.  And it is irresponsible of this administration to make immigrant families choose between keeping their families healthy or risk being denied a green card.  Many poor immigrant families have children who are eligible for these public benefits as American citizens, and their parents should not be punished for utilizing these services.

The National Hispanic Medical Association will submit and encourage its partners to submit public comments opposing the Trump Administration public charge rule change proposal, in order to support poor Latino legal immigrants. We are a country of immigrants, who are the backbone of the economy.

The National Hispanic Medical Association released the following statement regarding issues affecting the Medicare Part D program:

“With Congress back from August recess, we strongly encourage members to address recent and impending changes to Medicare Part D that threaten to weaken the program’s competitive structure and increase out-of-pocket spending for beneficiaries. The looming out-of-pocket cliff – set to take effect in 2020 – will increase the amount of spending needed to enter catastrophic coverage by $1,250. Additionally, certain changes included in the recently passed Bipartisan Budget Act threaten to upend the competitive marketplace that keeps costs low for beneficiaries.

“As physicians representing the often under-served Hispanic community, we have seen firsthand how harmful changes to the Part D program can negatively impact access to care for minority patients. We call on Congress to prioritize these issue and commit to passing a legislative fix that protects both the Part D program and the already vulnerable patients that rely on it.”

July 2018:

Statement Of The National Hispanic Medical Association On Trump Immigration Policy

Jul 5, 2018, 3:13pm EDT

WASHINGTON, July 5, 2018/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Latino health care professionals are outraged at the Trump Administration zero-tolerance policy - on refugees who are fleeing persecution and other immigrants – that has separated 2000 children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border.  Our organizations' priorities are to improve the health and wellness of Latinos and this Federal immigration policy will lead to worsening health disparities in our communities.

Medical research shows children do not have the capacity to cope with an overwhelming and devastating environment that causes immense levels of stress in the short-term, and mental and physical diseases in the long term.  The affected children's deregulated healthy stress pathways will lead to future severe mental illness such as depression, suicide, and schizophrenia decreased immune protection leading to cancers, cardiovascular and other diseases, and decreased cognitive abilities.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) sends the separated children to detention centers across the nation and will release them to relatives or foster families. There are no protocols for keeping track of parents and children concurrently, for keeping parents and children in contact with each other, or for eventually reuniting them. In some cases, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) deports parents before reuniting them with their children. Moreover, we believe that our broken immigration policy is not going to deter more immigrants from coming to America for a better life.

We believe that the U.S. should abide by international human rights law created after World War II that says to separate parents and children is prohibitive. We call for Congress to focus on comprehensive immigration policies including those that decrease the backlog of U.S. immigrant applications, abbreviate the legal review process for refugees and others at the border, expand Federal immigration judges, lawyers, and related workforce, and protect the dreamers with a new path to citizenship. We call for policies that will improve the quality of life of all Americans.


View original content: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/statement-of-the-national-hispanic-medical-association-on-trump-immigration-policy-300676730.html.

June 2018

Two bills on immigration will finally go to the floor this week to potentially decide the fate of around 1.8 million “Dreamers” as well as other immigration policies. After President Trump canceled Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) in September, Congress has struggled to formulate legislation to replace it, eventually launching a discharge petition, headed by Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL), which fell just two signatures shy of what was needed to force a floor vote. The discharge petition would have looked at a path to citizenship for “Dreamers,” pairing that path to increased border security. With that off the table, for now, Rep. Bob Goodlatte’s (R-VA) legislation known as Securing America’s Future and a compromise bill drafted by House Republicans will get a House vote this week, with neither currently expected to pass. President Trump will make a rare visit to Capitol Hill this evening to discuss both bills.

Securing America’s Future gives people who were registered under DACA 3-year renewable legal status with no special path to a green card. Citizens may not sponsor parents, adult children, brothers or sisters, very stringent regulations on “chain migration.” Unlawful presence is also criminalized in this bill, community trust policies are restricted, the diversity visa program is eliminated, annual immigration levels are decreased, and employers are required to make sure a new employee is a legal citizen.

The compromise bill was released by Republicans the afternoon of Thursday, June 14th, then to their surprise, was denounced by President Trump Friday morning. The White House released a statement later that day, though, that Trump would support the bill. The compromise bill promises legal protections for “Dreamers,” allowing them to apply for “nonimmigrant status” and then 6 years later to apply for a green card. The bill also allocates $23.4 billion for Trump’s border wall. This bill would allow for “Dreamers,” once citizens, to seek green cards for their parents. Chain migration would be limited. The bill also aims to stop the separation of children from their parents at the border and does not mandate e-verify for employers. Democrats are unlikely to vote for either bill, and conservative Republicans likely won’t be convinced to vote for the moderate proposal.

NHMA is supportive of bills that allow for a clear path to citizenship for Dreamers, who are hardworking members of our society and add millions to our economy. Unfortunately, none of these bills allow for this and make the path to citizenship a long and costly process. We urge you to call your Representative (go here to type in your zip code and find who your Representative is and their contact information) and tell them that Dreamers deserve a clear path to citizenship, without a Border Wall.