2007 Legislative Compendium: Border Health

Medical Tourism

Senate Bill 1391 by Sen. Carlos Uresti (D-San Antonio) prohibits health insurers from issuing plans that require patients to travel to a foreign country to obtain coverage. The bill applies to health plans issued on or after Jan. 1, 2008. TMA supported the bill.

Border Health Close Calls

Cross Border HMOs
Two bills were filed to establish cross-border health plans: House Bill 2483 by Rep. Jose Menendez (D-San Antonio) and Senate Bill 1445 by Senator Lucio. While not identical, both bills would have allowed health plans to offer health insurance plans targeted to United States citizens or legal Mexican residents living within 75 miles of either side of the U.S.-Mexico border. Similar bills have been filed in previous sessions. These bills touted as a means to reduce the number of uninsured residents along the border.

While TMA strongly supports efforts to reduce the uninsured, it has along with the Border Health Caucus and the Texas Hospital Association, opposed the legislation because Texas cannot regulate the quality of health care provided within Mexico. Both organizations have grave concerns about patient safety and liability.  The bills received hearings in their respective chambers but were left pending. This issue is likely to re-emerge during the interim as an interim study.

Border Health Staff Team:

Legislative: Michelle Romero
Policy: Helen Kent Davis and Gayle Love
Legal: Kelly Walla

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