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tv   CBS Evening News With Katie Couric  CBS  September 23, 2010 7:00pm-7:30pm EDT

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insurers can no longer deny children coverage for a preexisting condition. young adults can stay on their parents' policy until they turn 26. insurance companies can't cancel your policy if you get sick, no more lifetime caps on how much insurers will pay, and preventive care, such as cancer screenings, will be covered completely at no cost to you. wyatt andrews reports on the first phase of the most sweeping changes this country's health care system has ever seen. >> i can't stand up for any length of time. >> reporter: last year, as patricia reilling battled cancer in both of her breasts, her insurance company, anthem, canceled the health care policy she had held for 20 years. >> i had no notice. >> reporter: the cancellation ruined her financially and when her insurance ran out, so did some of her doctors. >> i couldn't go to my oncologist. i couldn't go to my pain doctor. i-- i couldn't get any care at all. >> reporter: starting today, however, what happened to patricia is supposed to stop.
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in one of the key benefits of the affordable care act, insurance companies must stop the pract called rescission, the dropping of their most-expensive patients. >> today is the day that the worst abuses of insurance companies come to an end. >> reporter: another new benefit is an end to lifetime caps on what your insurance has to pay out. that's crucial for an estimated 20,000 patients, like anna renault, who after eight bouts with cancer, was close to her million-dollar limit and was afraid of bankruptcy. >> people just don't stop and realize how much impact this bill will have on people's quality of life. >> reporter: also going into effect today, adult children up to age 26 can stay on their parents' policy, an estimated two million young adults will benefit here. and then there's the president's promise of paying for prevention. >> preventive care will now be offered under your. >> reporter: that's true but not for everyone.
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many patients will get free preventive care for tests like mammograms or for flu shots, but in the fine print, this only applies to new policies, or policies the company has changed. still, for thousands of americans, the financial pressure that comes with disease just got easier to take. >> i don't have to worry about at least that piece of it anymore. >> reporter: meanwhile, the cost of these benefits will not be cheap. the nation's employers have said that just covering the adult children alone adds 2% to their health care costs. and so a showdown is already brewing between an insurance industry that wants big rate hikes to cover these benefits and an obama administration that's promised to hold down the price of health care. katie. >> couric: wyatt andrews in washington, wyatt, thank you. health care reform is a red hot issue in the bath for control of the house, with republicans there now vowing to repeal it. so 40 days before the midterms, we want to take a look at the impact reform might have in some critical contests.
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45 house democrats who voted for reform were locked in tough races for reelection. our cbs news election team finds only five of them have an edge for the rest, the races could go either way. now 16 house democrats who voted against health care reform are also facing a tough fight to keep their seats. we see four of them as having an edge. the others are toss-ups. so it's inclear what impact voting for or against health care reform will have in november for democrats. the vow to repeal health care reform is just one part of the republicans' new pledge to america. we told you about it last night. today, they rolled it out. nancy cordes is our congressional correspondent. nancy, i guess the simple question is why now? >> reporter: well, katie, because they want to battle the perception that they're just the party of now before the midterm elections. but teams argue that the new ideas look a lot like the old ideas. republicans unveiled their pledge at a hardwear store in
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northern virginia. >> we're here today to put forth a new governing agenda. >> reporter: among the top priorities: repealing the obama health care law, rolling back government spending to 2008 levels, and extending the bush tax cuts. >> this is a contract with americans. >> reporter: it's a clear homage to the contract with america which republicans released in 1994, the last time they took over congress. ( cheers and applause ) in a nod to the tea party, a growing force on the right, the pledge is littered with references to the constitution and programs to reduce the federal debt. grateful tea party members even presented the minor leader with a tea pot today. but democrats slammed the pledge, call it recycled rhetoric from the bush years. >> the american people deserve to hear a real plan for moving america forward, not an election-year gimmick filled with hyperbole and tired old failed ideas. >> reporter: even if republicans take control of the house enacting any part of this
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agenda will be difficult because democrats will still control the white house and most likely the senate. katie. >> couric: nancy cordes, nancy, thanks very much. john dickerson is the cbs news political analyst. john, some people believe the contact with america helped get republicans elect back in '94. will resurrecting this kind of platform do you think help or hurt them this time because i know they're debating that, even within the party. >> reporter: that's right, katie. the challenge is to be specific enough to answer that question, "what are you going to do, republicans, if you take control on the key question of jobs and the economy?" but not be too specific that you open yourself to attacks from democrats. democrats think republicans have given them all they need when democratic officials said now we have a chance to compare two visions, and what republicans believe is now all down on paper. >> couric: all right, john dickerson, john, thank you. with their pledge to america, the republicans contend that extending all the bush tax cuts would put more spending money in people's pockets and help jump start the economy. so what's wrong with that?
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in an exclusive interview today, i put the question to the man whose signature is on that money, treasury secretary timothy geithner. and here's what he said: >> well, we agree on some things. i think we all want to make sure middle-class americans see their tax-- these tax cuts extended. and those go to 97% of working americans and 97% of small businesses. where we disagree, though, is the republicans want to make permit the tax cuts that go to the wealthiest 2% of americans. to do that would require us to go out and borrow $700 billion, again, to give tax cuts to the most fortunate 2% of americans. and we think that's not a responsible use of taxpayer resources at a time when we face enormous challenges. and we think if republicans want to do more to help the economy now, again, the best thing to do besides extending these middle-class tax cuts is to give stronger incentives to businesses to invest in america now. >> couric: but you keep hammering home that 2% of the wealthiest americans.
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but tens of thousands of small businesses and other businesses in this country make $250,000 a year. so aren't you going to be hurting them? >> if you look at the joint-- what the joint tack committee has said, 80% of those 2% of americans affected by this are people and businesses who make more than a million dollars a year. and, again, what we're proposing, katie, is to restore those tax rates to the levels they were in the late, which was a period we had remarkably strong economic growth. >> couric: 10 million jobs have been lost. many of them are never coming back. >> why? >> couric: the unemployment rate is hovering around 9.6%. let me echo the sentiments of velma hart who spoke to the president earlier this week. is this in fact the new reality, no matter what policy is put in place, is this the way it is? >> oh, no, absolutely not. the fact that unemployment today is close to 10% still, the fact that businesses are still quite
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uncertain about the future is just the legacy of the scars of the worst football crise since the great depression. it is just the result, the direct result of the scars caused by that basic crise. and because this crisis followed a time when we were living beyond our means as a country, it's going to take a while to grow out of this. >> couric: you say the g.o.p. will ultimately be proud of tarp. you give president bush credit, but wasn't this beginning the seed of a massive anti-boston government, anti-bailout, anti-deficit movement that many people feel the obama administration has only made worse? >> well, you're absolute right that the specter, the spectacle of us having to gich-- and president bush had to take this burden on initially-- the billions of dollars to the institutions at the heart of the crisis was a huge cause of the anger that swept across the country. no american thought that was fair. nobody understood when y it was necessary but it was absolutely necessary. and what we did was get most of that money back at much lower
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cost to the taxpayers. we would still be falling as a country, falling as an economy if the government hadn't taken those actions. >> couric: and there's late-breaking news on those bush tax cuts. senate democrats have decided to put off a vote on extending them until after the november elections. meanwhile, some relief is on the way for struggling small businesses. the house today gave final congressional approval to a bill that will give them tax cuts and make $30 billion available for loans so they can expand and create jobs. in other news, president obama was here in new york today addressing the u.n. general assembly. he called on the nations of the world to come together to make the latest middle east peace effort a success. to ensure that, "this time is different." meanwhile, the president's top political adviser will be leaving the white house in the spring. david axelrod will return to chicago to run mr. obama's reelection campaign. in health news, the f.d.a. today announced tough new restrictions on the once-popular diabetes
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drug avandia. studies have linked it to an increased risk of heart attack, and now doctors will have to document that patients have tried other diabetes medications before giving them avandia. doctors must also warn parties of the risks. the risk of whooping cough may sound like something from the past, but it's still very real. today, california reported more than 4200 cases so far this year, putting the state on track to break a 55-year record for infections. nine people have died, all of them infants. other states are seeing more cases as well. dr. jon lapook tells us what's behind the new outbreaks. >> reporter: today, kids in los angeles lined up for booster shot, hoping to slow down the outbreak of whooping cough that's affecting babies. >> more than 50% of the cases, they were exposed to whooping cough through their family members. >> reporter: that's what happened in mariah bianchi's
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case. in 2005 she was pregnant with her son, dillon, and had a terrible cough. >> he was healthy. he was beautiful. he was fine. except i continued to be really sick. >> reporter: she told her pediatrician she was worried about infecting her newborn. >> when i asked her about whooping cough, she told me it was a disease of the past, and she said that we tonight see it anymore. >> reporter: but that's exactly what dillon developed, and by the time he was hospitalized, it was too late. >> in less than 48 hours he'd died. the doctors didn't know what they were treating. >> reporter: vaccine advocates say the current california outbreak is happening because most adults don't realize they need a booster shot. >> of the nine children that have died, all of them are less than three months of age. they're too young to be vaccinated. they depended on those around them to be vaccinated so that they would be protected and they've been let down. >> reporter: only 6% of adults are properly vaccinated against whooping cough. so if you're going to be around babies, make especially sure you're up to date with all
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vaccines. katie. >> couric: good advice. dr. jon lapook, john, thank you. still ahead here on the cbs evening news, another threat to children of poor education. the documentary that's giving america's schools a failing grade. but up next, the new head of the t.s.a., how he intends to keep you safe when you fly.
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>> couric: it was probably the most anticipated speech of this week's meeting of the u.n. general assembly, and iran's president ahmadinejad caused an uproar today when he said many people believe the u.s. government was behind the 9/11 attacks. without with that the american delegation walked out, along with a number of european delegations. a spokesman for the u.s. mission called the comments by ahmadinejad vile. on capitol hill today, the new head of the t.s.a. laid out his plans for preventing future terror attacks against air travelers. john pistole is expanding the number of t.s.a. employees who have access to secret intelligence from about 1,000 to 10,000. he believes by putting more people in the loop the agency can better detect threats. bob orr spoke exclusively with the man who has one of the toughest jobs in the country. >> reporter: new transportation security chief john pistole began this day like all others, with a terror
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update. >> okay, good morning, everyone. >> reporter: pistol knows trysts continue to plot new attacks. they nearly suck seeded last christmas day when umar farouk abdulmutallab tried to ignite a bomb concealed in his underwear. >> so the christmas day bomber took this kind of material and fashioned it into something that he thought he could sneak through. >> correct. >> reporter: and he did. >> and he did. >> reporter: at a t.s.a. testing facility, pistole gave us an exclusive look at the type of powerful explosive used in the unsuccessful attack. petn, mixed with an another explosive patp to make the underwear bomb. >> when the passengers heard what they thought were fiber crackers that was the tatp initiating, and grace of god and good fortune it not not detonate. >> reporter: this is an insidious weapon. >> it is. >> reporter: to test screeners and stay ahead of terrorists,
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bomb expertlike ed kittel create their tone improvised explosive devices, a thermos with explosives in the liner, and the slipper hiding a shoe bomb. >> this this case you push a switch and it's a suicide-activated device. >> reporter: before taking control of t.s.a., pistole spent 26 years at the f.b.i., running major terror investigations. to prevent the next attack, he's pushing intelligence to screeners on the front lines. >> what i want to make sure is that we are not using old information to try to prevent old things from happening, although we need to make sure that another 9/11 doesn't happen. >> reporter: pistole said security measures will change as the threat evolves, but some old dangers remain. for now, passengers must still remove their shoes and leave their water bottles behind. is that still enough of a threat, in your mind, to justify limiting liquids on board? >> yes. >> reporter: so you're not apologizing for having people -- >> absolutely not.
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>> reporter: keeping liquid off the airplane. >> absolutely not. >> reporter: for pistole.
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blockbuster. >> couric: there was a very close call in the skies over minneapolis-st. paul airport. a u.s. airways jet with 95 people on board took off from parallel runways. the tower told the u.s. airways crew to turn left and the jets crossed paths with the smaller
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plane missing it by 50 to 100 feet. the f.a.a. called it a category a. incident, the most serious kind of operational error. if you need directions we can tell you how to get to "sesame street." we can even tell you what not to wear ♪ you're up and you're down you're running around ♪ . >> couric: singer katie perry joined elmo for a game-dress-up but the outfit was too revealing for parents who complained after watching the video online. now the segment won't air but you can still watch it on perry's web site. few web sites are as popular as facebook, and it's about to get a lot more friends in newark, new jersey. that's because facebook founder mark zuckerberg is set to announce a $100 million donation to newark's troubled public schools. it reportedly comes after zuckerberg met and friended mayor cory booker in july. zuckerberg, who is 26, is worth more than $9 billion.
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coming up next, the documentary that's exposing the failure of too many american schools to educate our kids
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>> couric: finally tonight, a lot of movies are coming out this fall, but one in particular is creating a lot of buzz among anyone who cares about education. yes, it features a caped superhero, but it's not designed to bring you thrills and excitement but make you think about the future of this country's most precious resource. here's michelle miller. >> reporter: right from the start the new documentary" waiting for superman" has a point of view and doesn't hold back. >> you wake up every morning and you know that kids are getting a really crappy education right now. >> so you think most of the kids here are getting a crappy education right now? >> oh, i don't think they are. i know they are. >> reporter: it's a harsh and unflattering look at the state of public education in america. >> i want to go to school. >> reporter: it follows these five kids desperate to go to better schools but with limited openings, their futures depend on luck. >> for these kids, their only chance at getting into a great
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school depends on whether their number is picked in a lottery. >> reporter: it could be the most talked about documentary since" an inconvenient truth," perhaps because they share the same director. oscar winner davis guggenheim. >> experts will say the movie is pro this or anti that, but parents who see the movie say, "i just want a greet school for my kid." >> reporter: he told cur cure he hopes the film promotes action. >> it features jeffrey canada who shows it's possible to create jet stream great schools even in poor neighborhoods. this week the department of education announced grants to replicate his success in 20 more cities. >> it's not an issue that we should put our heads in the sand. we could actually fix this. >> reporter: but critics of the movie say it unfairly targets public schools, their teachers and unions. >> i thought it was a little slanted because i think that there are a lot of great public
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schools with great teachers and great administrators and great families. >> reporter: still... >> does anyone in your group think the status quo is working? >> no, not at all. >> reporter: they also agree on what's at stake. >> you know, i want to be a teacher. >> reporter: a child's future. >> i want to be a nurse. i want to be a doctor. >> reporter: michelle miller, cbs news, new york. >> couric: and you can see my complete interview with davis guggenheim on my webcast on that is the cbs news for tonight. thank you fur watching. i'll see you tomorrow. good night. 7 captioning sponsored by cbs captioned by media access group at wgbh
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the most watched entertainment news magazine in the world. >> ashton and demi go public today. >> real men, protect, perfect and care for girls. >> the couple in a middle of a cheating scandal facing the press. >> i follow my heart. >> side by side, a united front for a cause close to their heart. >> then katy perry banned from sesame street? why her song with elmo was


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