President Obama repeated this line or a variation of it many times during the campaign to pass his landmark health care bill: "If you like your health care plan, you'll be able to keep your health care plan, period."
But while that might be true for people who get health insurance through their employer, it's not true for many people who buy their policies in the individual market — about 5 percent of the nation's policyholders.
If you're on Medicare and you're in the hospital for a few days, you may think you're an inpatient. The hospital may have other ideas. Increasingly, hospitals are placing older patients on "observation status." They may be there for days, but technically they're still outpatients.
This is a big deal for someone on Medicare because follow-up treatment in a nursing home isn't covered unless someone has been an inpatient for at least three days. That's leaving some seniors on the hook for thousands of dollars in nursing home bills.
For the second time in four months, the consumer group Public Citizen is alleging that a large, federally funded study of premature infants is ethically flawed.
Both complaints raise a big issue that's certain to get more attention beyond these particular studies: What's the ethically right way to do research on the validity of the usual care that doctors provide every day.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will host an unusual forum on that question next Wednesday — stimulated by the sharp questions raised by Public Citizen.