Child Immigrant Influx to Top Border Health Conference


Annual Meeting Also to Address Veterans’ Health Care, Medicare Sustainability

Texas Border Business

  • WHAT: As thousands of Central American children stream through U.S. border crossings in Texas and other southern states, who is responsible for their health care? Physician leaders from Texas, along with federal legislators and government officials, gather in Washington, D.C. to discuss this and other health care needs and challenges along the U.S.-Mexico border. The 9th Annual Border Health Conference is sponsored by Texas Medical Association’s (TMA’s) Border Health Caucus(BHC). BHC’s mission is to ensure access to care for patients along the border.
  • WHERE: Cannon Caucus Room,Cannon House Office Building, Washington, D.C.
  • WHY: This will be the ninth year the conference has drawn together health care and government experts to find solutions for health care issues facing border patients and their physicians. This year’s crushing crisis of refugee children and their families streaming into America emphasizes the need for comprehensive care on the border. Other issues this conference will address include:
  • Ensuring U.S. veterans receive timely care;
  • Medicare’s broken formula used to pay physicians, and its impact on seniors and Texans with disabilities;  and
  • The impact of transient diseases.
  • WHO: The conference’s physician, health care, and government experts are led by U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), BHC congressional chair; Manuel Acosta, MD, BHC chair; and Austin I. King, MD, TMA president. (See agenda below for panel discussion moderators and speakers.)

Wednesday’s conference panels and participants

8-8:30 am

Opening Remarks

U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas)

Manuel Acosta, MD, BHC Chair

Austin I. King, MD, TMA President

8:30-9:15 am

V.A.: Access and Continuum of Care

U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke (R-Texas)

U.S. Rep. Bill Flores (R-Texas)

U.S. Rep. Pete Gallego (D-Texas)

James Tucheschmidt, MD, Principal Deputy Under

Secretary for Health Veterans Administration

Austin I. King, MD, TMA President

9:20-10:05 am

ACA and Medicaid Expansion: California, Arizona,

and New Mexico

U.S. Rep. Juan Vargas (D-California)

E. Linda Villarreal, MD, TMA Board of Trustees

10:10-10:55 am

CMS: SGR, Waiver Opportunities, and Options for States

U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas)

U.S. Rep. Gene Green (D-Texas)

10:55-11:05 am


11:05 am-Noon

Undocumented Immigration: Who Is Responsible for Care?

U.S. Rep. Ruben Hinojosa (D-Texas)

U.S. Rep Filemon Vela (D-Texas)

U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas)

Amy Elizando, Vice President, Program Services,

National Rural Health Association

12:05-1 pm

Border Security and the Impact of Transient Diseases

Fernando Gonzalez, MD, Lead Epidemiologist, El Paso

Department of Public Health

Peter Hotez, MD, PhD, Dean, National School of Tropical

Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine

Martin Cetron, MD, Director, Division of Global Migration

and Quarantine (DGMQ), National Center for Emerging

and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID),

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention