WASHINGTON, D.C.-Louisiana Department of Health Secretary Alan Levine testified today before the Subcommittee on Health of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce calling for a “systemic reform of health care” and “every American having access to affordable health insurance.”


Maintaining that America’s “health enterprise is full of success stories and miracles borne through innovation and the compassionate touch of millions of professionals,” Levine said covering the uninsured by simply expanding government programs like Medicaid and Medicare without structural reforms could make the state of health care worse. According to several reports, as much as 30 percent of what America spends on health care does nothing to improve outcomes and as much as 10 percent of spending in Medicaid is fraud, waste and abuse.


To improve prevention, manage chronic illnesses, and reduce fraud and waste, Levine said the right reforms will:

  • Coordinate care through an accountable medical home;
  • Increase transparency;
  • Align financial incentives between purchasers, providers and patients;
  • Give consumers choice of health plans, benefits and providers; and
  • Harness the resources of the private sector.


Levine’s full testimony is attached.  Click here to download full testimony.


Levine, who has served two states as health secretary and operated public and private hospitals and health systems, was joined by a number of national health care experts, including:

  • Doug Elmendorf, Director, Congressional Budget Office
  • Glenn Hackbarth, Chairman, Medicare Payment Advisory Commission
  • Jack C. Ebeler, Vice Chair, Committee on Health Insurance Status and Its Consequences, Institute of Medicine
  • Atul Gawande, M.D., Associate Professor of Surgery at the Harvard Medical School and Associate Professor at the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard School of Public Health
  • M. Todd Williamson, M.D., President, Medical Association of Georgia


Today’s hearing kicked off a series of the Subcommittee on Health on “Making Health Care Work for American Families” and explored making the health system work better and designing a high performing health care system.