NHMA Supports Health Care Reform

March 17, 2010

President Obama

The White House

Speaker Nancy Pelosi

U.S. House of Representatives

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid

U.S. Senate

Dear President Obama, Speaker Pelosi, and Senator Reid:

On behalf of the National Hispanic Medical Association (NHMA), we strongly support health care reform legislation because we believe it will address many of our long-standing policy priorities to improve the health status for Hispanics and other underserved.

The NHMA convened its “National Hispanic and Health Disparities Leadership Summit Series” with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and 300 stakeholders in California, New York and Texas in 2008. We presented the consensus priorities for three priority areas - Access to Health Care, Prevention of Obesity and Diabetes, and Diversity in the HealthCare Professions - to Senator Kennedy’s initial health care reform meetings in August 2008, to the Senate and Congressional leaders, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, the Congressional Black Caucus and the Congressional Asian Pacific Islander Caucus, and to the Obama White House staff.

We strongly support health care reform with affordable universal insurance coverage that is paid for with a shared responsibility approach and incentives for small business;

We strongly support the transformation of a health system that centers on community prevention, public health and integrative care with a national strategy that includes the US DHHS Office of Minority Health leadership;

We strongly support the focus on the outreach and education to underserved and uninsured communities, especially Hispanics, the largest ethnic group in the nation and by the year 2042 will be one out of four Americans, with culturally and linguistically appropriate services;

We strongly support the development of a more robust primary care and public health workforce with diversity programs to recruit Hispanic students and faculty, Hispanic health professional leadership programs, and cultural competence and health care workforce training programs ---to all health care students and providers;

We strongly support the health team approach and patient centered care and improved quality care for racial/ethnic populations in our urban and rural communities and along the U.S.-Mexico border and in the territories;

We strongly support a more efficient system, including data collection, comparative effectiveness research, health IT, quality measures, guidelines that include racial/ethnic and primary language indicators and a Hispanic population focus;

We strongly support appointing Hispanics to the leadership of the Federal government agencies impacting health care, including the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and other health related agencies.

In summary, the National Hispanic Medical Association strongly supports health care reform legislation because we believe it will improve the health status for Hispanics and all Americans.

We are urging all national Hispanic health professional associations, the Hispanic medical societies, and their members to support health care reform.


Elena Rios, MD, MSPH

President & CEO, NHMA

Cc: Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez

Congresswoman Lucille Roybal Allard

Congressman Xavier Becerra

Congressman Charles Gonzalez

Congressman Raul Grijalva

Congresswoman Donna Christensen

Congressman Mike Honda

Congressman Henry Waxman

Congressman Dennis Miller

Congressman Charles Rangel

Congressman Pete Stark

Senator Tom Harkin

Senator Max Baucus

Senator Robert Menendez

Senator Christopher Dodd

Senator Jeff Bingaman

Senator Barbara Mikulski

All other Congressmen and Senators