Congressional Democrats say the final version of their comprehensive health-care plan—set to be unveiled Thursday and likely to be voted on Sunday—would cut the federal deficit by $138 billion over the next decade and $1.2 trillion 10 years after that.
That's actually not what Congressional Democrats say. It's what the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office says. And the CBO, according to Paul Krugman, is probably low-balling the potential savings:
Furthermore, there’s good reason to believe that all such estimates are too pessimistic. There are many cost-saving efforts in the proposed reform, but nobody knows how well any one of these efforts will work. And as a result, official estimates don’t give the plan much credit for any of them. What the actuary and the budget office do is a bit like looking at an oil company’s prospecting efforts, concluding that any individual test hole it drills will probably come up dry, and predicting as a consequence that the company won’t find any oil at all — when the odds are, in fact, that some of the test holes will pan out, and produce big payoffs. Realistically, health reform is likely to do much better at controlling costs than any of the official projections suggest.