News Releases

Letter to Walgreens: Dispute Threatens Health Care Options for Millions

December 16, 2011

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Hispanic Leadership Fund today released a letter from its President Mario H. Lopez, to Walgreens CEO Gregory Wasson, expressing concern over the ongoing dispute.

At a critical time in our nation’s history, millions of patients, including many in underserved communities, are in danger of having health care choices severely affected by the dispute, which has also negatively impacted Walgreens itself.

The text of the letter follows:

Dear Mr. Wasson,

I am writing to respectfully request that you weigh the negative consequences of severing your relationship with Express Scripts and that you reconsider the decision to end Walgreens low cost prescription drug program.

As the largest drug store chain in America, Walgreens is in a unique position to affect significantly a wide variety of communities.  Walgreens position has served its customers well, providing convenient access to important medications for millions of Americans in both affluent and struggling communities. That access is especially important in Hispanic areas, which are traditionally underserved.

Severing your relationship with Express Scripts and their customers would needlessly disenfranchise a large segment of the public from critical health care options.  If you follow-through with your plan to stop accepting Express Scripts prescription drug coverage, there may be significant harm to underserved individuals and families across the country.

From our perspective, it would seem that Walgreens, and its customers and shareholders, all have much to gain from negotiating a mutually beneficial agreement with Express Scripts.

I thank you in advance for your consideration of these concerns.




Mario H. Lopez



HLF Supports Further Study on Salt Reduction in School Lunches

November 15, 2011

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Hispanic Leadership Fund today applauded Congressional action intended to delay recently revised school lunch standards developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, especially in regards to a proposed reduction in salt consumption.

“Once again, federal regulators have abandoned sound science in favor of political correctness and a flawed agenda,” said Hispanic Leadership Fund President Mario H. Lopez.  “The scientific and medical evidence clearly shows not only that salt is essential to good health, but also that there is a lack of evidence of health benefits from reduced-salt diets.”

Lopez also expressed concern over the unintended consequences of government-mandated reductions of salt in food.  Human beings have an innate physiological appetite for salt, and the human body moderates its behavior to replenish the blood’s ionic balance.  So individuals who are faced with food mandated to be low in salt may, even unconsciously, be driven to eat considerably more to satisfy the natural appetite for salt.  “The irony is that, despite good intentions, federal regulators may be contributing to an increase in obesity, which is a problem for the Americans of all background, and especially for Latinos.  Calling for further study on the effects of the USDA’s sodium reduction guidelines is the right thing to do,” said Lopez.

Last week, the Hispanic Leadership Fund wrote to the Food and Drug Administration prior to a public hearing they hosted with other government agencies on sodium reduction to express these same concerns.


‘Gainful Employment’ Rule Will Reduce Educational Opportunities for Students

June 2, 2011

WASHINGTON—Following the Department of Education’s release of the controversial final ‘Gainful Employment’ rule, the Hispanic Leadership Fund condemned the content of the rule and its harmful impact on students, including many Latinos, and the tainted process by which the Administration is forcing it through.  Hispanic Leadership Fund President Mario H. Lopez issued the following statement:

“The Department of Education has defied a bipartisan majority in the House of Representatives, which overwhelmingly passed an amendment defunding the implementation of this harmful regulation.  The administration has ignored the objections of 90,000 individuals who submitted comments against the rule and relied on a biased and proven to be inaccurate GAO report.  As if that were not enough, alarming journalistic reports show that Wall Street short-sellers had undue influence on the entire process raise serious ethical and legal issues.

Statement on President Obama’s Immigration Speech

May 10, 2011

WASHINGTON, DC–The Hispanic Leadership Fund issued the following statement from its President Mario H. Lopez regarding President Obama’s immigration speech in El Paso today:

“From the time President Obama was in the US Senate–when he supported poison pill amendments designed to kill immigration reform efforts–we have seen that President Obama is only a friend to Latinos when he is in campaign mode.  But President Obama’s rhetoric cannot compare to his lack of action, his lack of a plan, and his hypocrisy in targeting families with US citizens resulting in more households being torn apart—despite what he promised during his first presidential campaign. More