Subscribe to receive our Floor Reports covering all the action on the Texas House and Senate floor!
Summary: Individuals can enter the United States from places where tuberculosis (TB) is endemic. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention facilities conduct health screenings for TB, but these facilities are not equipped to treat TB. Complicated cases of TB are best treated at the Texas Center for Infectious Disease, Texas' designated facility for court-ordered management of TB patients. However, illegal immigrants who fail to meet certain conditions, even though their condition constitutes a public health threat, cannot be admitted. SB 807 would allow the Department of State Health Services (department) to admit certain nonresident tuberculosis patients to a state chest hospital. SB 807 would also require the department to attempt to recover costs associated with the treatment of such patients from the applicable federal agency.
Analysis: SB 807 seems to be a pragmatic way of reducing Texas’ vulnerability to Tuberculosis by allowing the department to admit non-residents suffering from TB to be treated in a Texas hospital. If people with TB have entered Texas illegally it is clearly better that they be treated than have them remain in the population untreated. However, SB 807, by treating illegal non-residents with TB, may encourage or incentivize people suffering from TB to enter the United States illegally. We are neutral on SB 807.