There are people who think health care costs are about to decrease!

I was just looking at the website of Newtek Business Services (, which also goes by the name of The Small Business Authority. It sells financial and administrative services to small businesses. I found more evidence that the public doesn’t have a clue about what’s going on in health care. This is goofy stuff, folks, so I’ll have some fun with it.

Newtek has been conducting an online poll for about a month. I know, it is unscientific — it isn’t even clear that the poll is limited to small business representatives (I was able to vote, and was told that my vote was recorded, yet a news release describes those polled as “business owners”) — but it is interesting, to say the least. And the most interesting part is that about 5/6 of the respondents think it is wrong to force people to buy health insurance — much more than legit polls show, while at the same time, 9% plan to buy health insurance from the government. They must have heard that America’s gone socialist. I, however, thought the public option had been ditched in the negotiations leading to adoption of the Accountable Care Act.

And as if that weren’t enough, about a fourth of respondents expect the cost of health care to decrease in the next two years.

On what planet?

This is all ridiculous, to be sure, but it underscores the public’s confusion about current developments. And people should be confused! There’s even massive disagreement among health policy wonks about what’s in store. But I think the wonks could agree on one thing: Costs ain’t goin’ down anytime soon.

I’d call it a sure bet.

John Marcille is the editor of Managed Care.