Medicare's chief actuary says Obamacare's cuts to the program likely unsustainable 

Richard Foster, the chief actuary of Medicare, testified before the House Budget Committee said that the cuts to medical providers set by President Obama's national health care law were unrealistic.

"It's pretty hard to imagine they could be sustainable,” Foster said, under questioning from Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis.

The health care law reduces the rate of growth for payments to hospitals, nursing facilities, and other medical providers. But over time, the payment rates will decline so steeply that he said future Congresses may not actually implement them, just as they have routinely voted to avert scheduled cuts to physicians payments.

If the cuts do go into effect, many providers would be "unwilling or unable to continue providing services,” Foster said.

Under questioning from Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., he later added, "The potential access problems could be serious."

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