January 24, 2018
NHLA ON THE CONFIRMATION OF ALEX AZAR AS U.S. SECRETARY OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, a coalition of 45 of the nation’s preeminent Latino advocacy organizations, congratulates Alex Azar on his confirmation as Secretary of Health and Human Services. While Mr. Azar is qualified for the job, NHLA has specific priorities and concerns that we hope to work with him to address.
NHLA has long advocated for greater investment in and full implementation of the ACA and the development of policies to increase health care coverage for immigrants and seasonal farmworkers, increased access to Medicaid, policies that allow young parents and families to thrive, increased access to a full range of comprehensive reproductive healthcare including the restoration of robust funding for the Title X family planning program, and policies that provide LGBTQ Latinos health coverage, including the removal of arbitrary transgender-specific exclusions from all health plans and state Medicaid programs.
Furthermore, the Trump administration has taken actions that run contrary to HHS’ stated mission “to enhance and protect the well-being of all,” and has instead limited access to health care for many individuals. Mr. Azar must immediately reject the recently created HHS Strategic Plan and all related policies that hurt the Latino community and erode the protections that should be provided to all, regardless of sex, gender, identity, or race.
“The Affordable Care Act has been the nation’s most transformative health care law in recent history and has provided over four million Latinos with affordable and quality health coverage. Maintaining and improving this law must be central to the agenda of any Secretary of Health and Human Services, as well as eliminating health disparities, protecting a woman’s right to full reproductive health services, and combatting discrimination in health care,” said Hector Sanchez, NHLA Chair and Executive Director of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA).
Jessica González-Rojas, Executive Director of the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH) and Co-Chair of the Latina Task Force and the Health Committee said, “Latina women often face particularly devastating and often insurmountable systemic barriers when accessing critical reproductive care, resulting in major health inequities and poorer health outcomes in our communities. As head of the Department of Health and Human Services, Secretary Azar must demonstrate integrity and commitment to making quality healthcare, including reproductive healthcare, affordable and accessible for ourselves and our families. Not doing so would have far-reaching, negative consequences, especially for Latina women and other underserved and uninsured communities. NLIRH will be watching, and we will hold Secretary Azar accountable for upholding HHS’ mission to enhance the health and well-being of all.”
“The National Hispanic Medical Association applauds Mr. Azar on becoming Secretary of HHS and look forward to working with him to develop programs that provide quality care and decrease health disparities for our underserved communities,” said Dr. Elena Rios, NHLA Board Member and President & CEO of the National Hispanic Medical Association.
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FOR MORE INFORMATION:
ABOUT THE NATIONAL HISPANIC LEADERSHIP AGENDA:
The National Hispanic Leadership Agenda is composed of 45 of the leading national and regional Latino civil rights and public policy organizations and other elected officials, and prominent Latinos Americans. NHLA coalition members represent the diversity of the Latino community – Mexican Americans, Puerto Ricans, Cubans, and other Latino Americans. NHLA’s mission calls for unity among Latinos around the country to provide the Latino community with greater visibility and a clearer, stronger influence in our country’s affairs. NHLA brings together Latino leaders to establish policy priorities that address, and raise public awareness of, the major issues affecting the Latino community and the nation as a whole. For more information, please visit: www.nationalhispanicleadership.org.
NHLA MEMBER ORGANIZATIONS:
Alianza Americas | American G.I. Forum | ASPIRA Association | Avance Inc. | Casa de Esperanza: National Latin@ Network | Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute | Farmworker Justice | GreenLatinos | Hispanic Association of Colleges & Universities | Hispanic Federation | Hispanic National Bar Association | Inter-University Program for Latino Research | Labor Council for Latin American Advancement | Latino Justice PRLDEF | League of United Latin American Citizens | MANA, A National Latina Organization | Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund | Mi Familia Vota | National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures | National Association of Hispanic Federal Executives | National Association of Hispanic Publications | National Day Laborer Organizing Network | NALEO Educational Fund | National Association of Latino Independent Producers | National Conference of Puerto Rican Women, Inc. | National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators | National Hispanic Council on Aging | National Hispanic Environmental Council | National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts | National Hispanic Media Coalition | National Hispanic Medical Association | National Institute for Latino Policy | National Latina/o Psychological Association | National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health | Presente.org | SER Jobs for Progress National | Southwest Voter Registration Education Project | UnidosUS | United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce | United States Hispanic Leadership Institute | United States-Mexico Chamber of Commerce | U.S.- Mexico Foundation | Voto Latino