October 20-21, 2017 | Las Vegas, NV


Latinos represent the second largest population group in the nation. The overall health, and health outcomes, of this segment of the population are intricately tied to the future of the United States. Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the rate of Latinos without health coverage decreased from 39 percent in 2013 to 29 percent in 2016.  Large numbers of Latinos still live without coverage even though more than half qualify.  With looming changes to how Americans will be able to access healthcare, there is concern that gains may be reversed.  State legislators must now pivot and consider the ongoing and impending policy issues that will inform how they approach the access and delivery of quality and affordable healthcare for their constituents.

The NALEO Educational Fund’s Legislative Summit on Health provided state legislators with an opportunity to enhance their understanding of the health policies and legislation that state legislatures will tackle in future legislative sessions. This Summit explored the role state legislators and other state and federal lawmakers play in the development and implementation of the various aspects of health care policy and also examined its impact on state budgets and other policy areas

The Summit’s program covered:

  • State Health Policy Trends
  • Latino Health and Prevention Strategies
  • The Future of the Affordable Care Act
  • Challenges of the American Healthcare Delivery System:
    (Hospitals/Community Health Centers, Insurance, Drug Pricing)
  • Census 2020
  • Federal Immigration Policy Update

The Summit convened state legislators, national and state experts, advocates, and other relevant stakeholders. Participants had an opportunity to discuss and develop strategic collaborations for addressing the challenges and opportunities around healthcare delivery. Policymakers received information on the latest research, studies and best practices; exchanged legislative policies and ideas; strengthened governance skills that support effective leadership in committee roles; and had the opportunity to network with colleagues and experts from throughout the country.


Investor Sponsors




Institute Partner

Board of Hispanic Caucus Chairs


  • Friday, October 20
  • Saturday, October 21

8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
Vinoly Grand Ballroom Pre-Function Area


8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
Vinoly Grand Ballroom 2

Networking Breakfast

9:00 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.
Vinoly Grand Ballroom 2

Welcome Remarks

• Mr. Arturo Vargas, Executive Director, NALEO Educational Fund

9:15 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.
Vinoly Grand Ballroom 2

Breakfast Program


The State of Healthcare in America – A Legislative Perspective

State legislators across America deal with the issue of healthcare through constituent concerns in their districts and as bills are introduced in their respective state capitols. Given the importance of this topic, it is helpful to identify regional and national trends at the state level to highlight areas of collaboration. During this session, participants heard from caucus chairs, health committee members, and other legislative leaders on the most pressing health policy issues for their respective states, as well as the challenges and opportunities they have in their legislative bodies to address healthcare.

Facilitator: Hon. Gustavo Rivera, New York State Senator; Ranking Member, Committee on Health

• Hon. Donovan M. Dela Cruz, Hawaii State Senator; Chair, Committee on Ways and Means

• Hon. Sylvia R. Garcia, Texas State Senator; Chair, Texas Senate Hispanic Caucus; Former NALEO President

• Hon. Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher, California State Assemblymember; Vice Chair, California Latino Legislative Caucus

10:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Vinoly Grand Ballroom 1

Hearing I:


Latino Health Trends and Disease Prevention Strategies

For Latinos, the leading causes of disease are heart disease, cancer, and high blood pressure. Social determinants, such as environment and occupation, and risk factors like exercise and nutrition contribute to these causes. To inform legislative action on health access, utilization and quality, this session provided an update on Latino health trends and described prevention strategies that have proven effective.

Chair: Hon. Luz Escamilla, Utah State Senator; Member, Health and Human Services Committee

• Dr. Gabriel Sanchez, Executive Director, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Center for Health Policy, The University of New Mexico

• Dr. Elena V. Rios, President and Chief Executive Officer, National Hispanic Medical Association

12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Vinoly Grand Ballroom 2

Luncheon Program:


Census 2020, Make it Count

• Mr. Arturo Vargas, Executive Director, NALEO Educational Fund

Additional Resources: 1 | 2

1:15 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.
Vinoly Grand Ballroom 1

Hearing II:


The Affordable Care Act – Where Do We Go from Here?

On July 28, 2017, the U.S. Senate failed to pass the “skinny repeal” of the Affordable Care Act. Similarly, last month, the U.S. Senate Graham-Cassidy bill failed to garner enough support. While the ACA remains in place, states face many questions as to future Congressional efforts to make changes to the law and actions by the President’s administration. Proposals could affect health insurance exchanges, insurance subsidies and credits, and Medicaid expansion. This session provided an update on efforts to “fix” the ACA and strategies states can use in the meantime to help maintain quality and affordable health insurance coverage for their constituents.

Chair: Hon. Armando “Mando” Martinez, Texas State Representative

• Ms. Elisabeth Wright Burak, Senior Program Director, Center for Children and Families, McCourt School of Public Policy, Georgetown University

• Ms. Martha P. King, Health Program Group Director, National Conference of State Legislatures

• Ms. Julie Kotchevar, Deputy Director, Nevada Department of Health and Human Services

• Ms. Sinsi Hernández-Cancio, Director of Health Equity, Families USA

2:45 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Vinoly Grand Ballroom 1

Hearing III:


The Challenges of America’s Healthcare Delivery System – Hospitals and Insurance

Given the ongoing debate around the ACA, more attention has focused on how Americans receive health services, from hospitals to community health clinics and pharmacies, and how those services are paid for. During this session, participants heard from experts who provided the current national and regional state of health insurance markets, as well as those of hospitals. Legislators learned about opportunities they have to improve these sectors and ensure their constituents have access to them.

Chair: Hon. David Santiago, Florida State Representative; Vice Chair, Health and Human Services Committee; Vice Chair, Insurance and Banking Subcommittee

• Mr. Freddy Warner, Vice President, Government Affairs, Memorial Hermann Health System

• Ms. Sunshine Moore, Southwestern Regional Director for State Affairs, America’s Health Insurance Plans

• Hon. Marguerite Salazar, Commissioner, Colorado Division of Insurance; Executive Director, Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies

5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Vinoly Grand Ballroom 2

Opening Reception


Opening Reception Patron
Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals

Opening Reception Supporters
Genentech, A Member of the Roache Group
Planned Parenthood Federation of America
Reynolds American Inc.

Opening Reception Donor
Herbalife Nutrition

Opening Reception Friend
Transamerica Center for Health Studies