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Train Derails In Columbus; House Voting To Repeal Health Care Reforms; Battle Over Health Care Reform; Billionaire Heir Arrested; Mystery Odor Grounds Flight; Train Derails in Columbus, Ohio; Interview with Congresswoman Nan Hayworth of New York; Doctors: Pathogen Mix Caused Mystery Illness; NAACP Annual Convention

Aired July 11, 2012 - 06:00   ET



ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking news, fire raging right now after a freight train crashes in Columbus, Ohio, carrying chemicals.

ALI VELSHI, CNN ANCHOR: Revealing health care, the House votes in a matter of hours, won't make much of a difference.

BANFIELD: New this morning, the wife of one of the richest men in the world found dead. We'll have details on how she died and who's been arrested in connection with it.

Good morning, everyone. Welcome to EARLY START. I'm Ashleigh Banfield, nice to have you with us.

VELSHI: And it is 6:00 a.m. in the east.

BANFIELD: We begin with this breaking news this morning, take a look at your screen, hazmat crews are on the scene at this spectacular fire in Ohio that's been burning for several hours now after a train that was pulling several tanker cars derailed just before 2:00 in the morning.

This all happened at the north end of Columbus. That explosion was big and it was loud as well. It could be seen and heard for miles.

Karina Nova, an affiliate reporter with WBNS just filed this report for us from the helicopter above this fire. Have a look.


KARINA NOVA, WBNS REPORTER: Ali and Ashleigh, we are over the scene right now in Chopper 10. Let me tell you exactly where this is happening. This is near our Ohio State fairgrounds and a few miles from the Ohio State University.

So obviously this is a populated area with businesses here. Now this happened just after 2:00 a.m. this morning. We are told this train was -- had about 97 train cars, 11 of them are derailed here in this mess.

Let me get you a closer look here. You can see there are several tanks burning right now, those flames shooting about 100 to 150 feet in the air. Those tanks we're told are carried denatured alcohol and styrene.

You can tell there are those 11 train cars that are derailed right there in that mix. So you could tell it's a fairly big scene. They have evacuated people here within a one mile radius. No one is able to get through.

Fire crews can't even get close to this because it's still so dangerous. You can see the surrounding woods are on fire as well. So it's a very large fire that they are going to have to put out here soon.

We continue to monitor the situation. We don't know why this happened. We still have not confirmed that information. We do know it is involving Norfolk Southern railroad. So we'll keep you posted and get back to you as soon as we find out more information.


BANFIELD: Karina Nova reporting to us from our affiliate. Some of that information just to repeat to you, it's new this morning that fire was close to the Ohio State fairgrounds and not far from Ohio State University as well.

And 11 of those cars reported to be derailed. We thought earlier it was four to five cars, it's 11 of those cars and now officially we know denatured alcohol and styrene.

VELSHI: Styrene, it's used for polystyrene. But the EPA say that it's hazardous especially in the case of eye contact, skin contact, ingestion, inhalation and it's expected to be toxic to your gastrointestinal tract, your kidney and your respiratory system. So this is a serious chemical to be on fire if it's in one of those 11 cars that's burning.

BANFIELD: They originally had thought it was sulphur, but now we've had situation. And then she also reported something interesting, we were expecting this could be a potential for danger.

That some of the surrounding woods had caught on fire as well. Don't forget we've had these extraordinarily hot temperatures, the heat wave through the Midwest.

VELSHI: So it's dry.

BANFIELD: Dry and dangerous. So we'll keep an eye on that. That was a great report from our affiliate reporter there. We do appreciate her doing that.

Let me move on to this though. We have other big news today and it comes from Capitol Hill, your elected officials about to earmark a real exercise in futility, shall we call it.

In other words, politics as usual, it seems. The Republican- controlled Congress, the House side of it, anyway, preparing to hold a vote this afternoon to repeal President Obama's health care overhaul.

This is really symbolic. It can't be stressed enough that this can't pass anywhere, other than the House because they don't have enough votes in the Democratic Senate for it to get through.

But this is election year and so a lot of these messages for both of these parties are very important. Have a listen.


MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's time for Washington to see its job as encouraging small business, not crushing it. And so I look at Obamacare, for instance, I'd get rid of it, turn back to a setting where the states are able to care for their own people in a way they think best.


BANFIELD: So Athena Jones is live now from Washington, D.C. Well, we say it's an exercise in futility, technically yes. But if you talk to Republicans, Athena, they say it's critically important for them to continue to echo that they do not agree with this policy, with this law. If all they can do is shout it from rooftop, they are going to shout it from the rooftop.

ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, yes, they are going to shout it from the rooftops, Ashleigh. You know, they've been fighting about this, Democrats, Republicans, have been arguing about this for several years now.

And within hours of the Supreme Court making its ruling upholding the law, you already had House Republicans scheduling this vote for this day.

Democrats, of course say, the highest court in the land has spoken and it's time to move on. Republicans say not so fast. Let's listen to what they debated, what they had to say yesterday on the floor.


REPRESENTATIVE SCOTT DESJARLAIS (R), TENNESSEE: The majority of Americans still do not like this bill. So I don't think that we just give up on the American people. I think we continue to fight for them.

REPRESENTATIVE ELIJAH CUMMINGS (D), MARYLAND: Let's put an end to this pointless political theatre. The Supreme Court has spoken and has spoken loudly. It is time to focus on insuring that the law is implemented effectively and efficiently.

(END VIDEO CLIP) JONES: So there you have it. As you mentioned, this is likely to pass the House, but it won't go anywhere after that. So Republicans say this is very, very important that they do this.

That they show their base, that they are still working to get this law, which still doesn't poll all that well when taken as a whole to try to get that to be repealed and Democrats -- to force Democrats to keep defending it -- Ashleigh.

BANFIELD: When you say defending, funny enough, a lot of Democrats are saying that they need to go into this policy hearing today on the offense. I mean, truly that this isn't going to be a defensive act. That they are going to work hard to be very forceful about this message.

JONES: Well, certainly that as well. I mean, Democrats on the Hill and the folks in the White House are doing what they can to try to show that there's support for this and the support for it will grow the more people learn about some of the provisions.

And admittedly some of those provisions are popular and even Republicans will admit that. But taken as a whole, it's not doing so well so they have to keep staying on the offense as well as the defense as they go forward over the next several months as we head to November -- Ashleigh.

BANFIELD: With the Affordable Care Act numbering into the thousands of pages, it can easily be (inaudible) in either direction. So the numbers are where it really matters and it's heavy reading for the summer on the beach unfortunately.

Athena Jones, thank you very much from Washington. In our next half hour, we're going to discuss the health care vote with Republican Congressman Nan Hayworth of New York.

She is the only female physician in Congress. For continuing coverage of the health care debate, make sure you keep it right here on CNN. You can also monitor throughout the day.

VELSHI: So Athena was saying there's a considerable public opinion opposition to health care reform, but a lot of that opposition is from liberals who think it didn't go far enough.

So while a majority of people don't like the bill as it is, some think there should be no bill and others think the bill should be stronger.

BANFIELD: So it's very important to point that out. Because if Republicans are pointing out that they have more support from conservatives who don't like the bill, that's not true.

They don't have more conservatives who don't like the bill. People don't like the bill because they think it should have had a further mandate, a stronger mandate, that kind of thing.

VELSHI: We were telling you a little about this earlier, the son of one of the world's richest men arrested after the richest man's wife was found dead in their London home.

Hans Christian Rausing, heir to the Tetra Pack Fortune was picked up by police Monday on suspicion of drug possession. He is being held in connection with his wife's death.

New this morning, the family is now speaking out -- Christine is joining us on the story. So I want to be clear, whose wife?

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: This is the wife of that man -- that man is being held. That is his wife. His grandfather founded the Tetra Pack Fortune, revolutionized how we ship things, how we store milk and food and ship it and really change the world.

It made billions of dollars doing so and this is the grandson of founder, the son of one of the world's wealthiest man. He is, he has been arrested after they discovered his wife dead in their home in London.

The son's name is Hans Christian Rausing. He was arrested Monday on drug charges. When police searched the home afterward, they found the body of his 48-year-old wife, Eva. She is mother of four. She is an American.

An autopsy on Tuesday failed to determine her cause of death. So this is really a huge mystery surrounding one of the richest families in the world, certainly, one of the richest families in Britain.

Eva's family from Hilton Head, South Carolina has released this statement. Eva was a devoted wife for 20 years and a mother of four much loved and wonderful children.

During her short lifetime, she made a huge philanthropic impact, supporting a large number of charitable causes not only financially, but using her own personal experiences.

She bravely fought her health issues for many years. We know the "Forbes" magazine reported that the couple was arrested in 2008 or picked up in 2008 on suspicion of cocaine and heroin possession I think.

Nothing ever came of that criminally, but it's a couple who has been in the headlines because of those such matters. Now after a drug arrest, police search their London home and found his wife dead.

VELSHI: What a weird story.

ROMANS: It really is. I have to tell you, this is one of those families, it's like the Wal-Mart Empire where the grandfather had a brilliant idea, changed the world.

And there's a lot of money that has flowed from that, a lot of money -- literally changed the world. These cartons of milk that almost every carton you can think of and all kinds of products, eased shipping, an awful lot of money tied to this. Money doesn't always buy stability and happiness.

BANFIELD: I think the last statement as critical, the health issues that she suffered. So I'm wondering if that's --

ROMANS: It is still a mystery. He is being held now. I mean, he was originally being held on drug charges in London. Now he's being held in connection with her death as they try to figure out exactly what happened.

BANFIELD: That's his wife and he happens to be the son of the billionaire.


BANFIELD: Right, OK, just to get the chain correct.

ROMANS: He stands to inherit a lot, a boatload of money.

BANFIELD: All right, Christine Romans, thanks so much.

We have this other very strange mystery developing mystery this morning, a sickening odor. A flight crew forced to take an emergency landing because of the odor on board a U.S. Airways flight from Charlotte, North Carolina to Rome.

It was diverted instead to Philadelphia last night. The flight attendant told the captain we were starting to feel a little bit sick and that they smelled something very odd, sort of strange in the cabin.

An airline spokesperson said that five crew members ended up being hospitalized because of this. They were eventually released. The passengers were evacuated. They were put on another flight. No passengers fell ill.

So it's sort of an odd story where you have five crew members who fell ill and smelled something odd. Passengers all OK. But these crew members hospitalized and there's still no word on what's behind the odor and what actually happened on board that flight, very strange.

Also, let's get you some live pictures out of Columbus, Ohio, where we've been following this breaking news all morning of a train derailment. That the fire is still burning and it's been burning now for about --

VELSHI: Three hours.

BANFIELD: Almost four hours. These are pictures of one of the 11 cars that derailed and now we know what it is that's burning. And here's the story.

It's not good. Hazmat crews are there. These are chemicals and not the kind of chemicals you want burning in your neighborhood. We'll give you the lowdown in a moment.


BANFIELD: If you're just waking up, we've been following some breaking news this morning.

This fire near Columbus, Ohio, actually it's just north of Columbus, Ohio, has been burning now for about four years, near the Ohio state fair grounds and Ohio State University.

This was the result of a train derailment, 97 cars barreling through Columbus, and all of a sudden 11 of them derailed. They're the kind of cars you don't want derailing in the middle of the night, filled with chemicals. In fact, this now has been ruled to be a chemical fire of denatured alcohol and styrene.

Hazmat crews on the scene, they actually had to call in air support at one point as well. The flames don't seem to have abated much in the last hour and a half or so. But at one point when the explosion went off, it could be felt and it could be seen for miles as well.

And our reporter in the vicinity, Karina Nova from WBNS, reports that those flames were leaping 150 feet in the air. They were hopscotching into the neighboring woodlands and causing fires.

Don't forget, there's been a tremendous heat wave that's gone through the area. It is hot and dry. The air support called in and hazmat teams hopefully getting this under control. They did put a perimeter of little over a mile -- Ali, do you think -- do you remember it was a mile --

VELSHI: It was a mile originally that people were ordered to evacuate. Now that they have a better sense of what it is, this -- I don't know much about this, but styrene is not a fun chemical, so if they can't seem to get this further under control and as we heard from Karina, might be catching onto the woods around the area, you might see that perimeter expanded.

BANFILED: So, we're only probably about an hour outside of the peak rush hour as well. So, as the daylight breaks in Columbus, Ohio, they're going to be certainly be seeing a lot more of this and the news helicopters will be getting a better image as well.

VELSHI: As you know, while it doesn't look like this fire is getting bigger, we are worried whether it gets into the woods. It's been very dry. But the more important issue is that --

BANFIELD: It's smoke.

VELSHI: Right. This just keeps on burning and it might be burning chemicals that are not very good for you. These are always derailments the scariest things -- these derailments where it's carrying some kind of a chemical that continues to burn.

So, while it looks like it's burning off, that may be the bigger problem.

BANFIELD: This is the kind of story where you would like the winds to blow to dissipate the smoke but at the same time winds blowing fire in a dry, hot area with woodlands ash around something you don't want. So, sort of a good news/bad news story. But we're watching this carefully for you, when we got all of the developments coming out of our affiliate reporters there as well.

VELSHI: Also, a judge in Mississippi is expected to rule today on a challenge to a new law that could force the state's only abortion clinic to close. The law requires abortion doctors to be board certified OB/GYN and have hospital admitting privileges. Sponsors say it's a safety issue. Opponents believe it's all about shutting down the clinic.

CNN's David Mattingly is live outside the federal court house in Jackson, Mississippi.

What are you hearing, David?

DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Ali, when you hear state legislators passing a law like this requiring that doctors who provide abortions to have OB-GYNs and they have admitting privileges, you hear that they are doing this because of -- for patient safety.

But we started doing some digging in Mississippi to look and see if there was any problem with patient health and safety for women seeking abortions in this state from the one abortion clinic that is still operating here in the state of Mississippi.

We talked to the owners of that clinic who have been in charge for the last two years. And they tell us, in that two-year time period they performed between 4,000 and 5,000 abortions and they say there has been zero patients they've had to transport from the clinic to the hospital.

From there, we went to the state health department, which is in charge of regulating this clinic. They inspected it up to five times a year. They tell us that they've been able to find only one patient who had minor complications after receiving an abortion at that clinic. That's one patient out of 4,000 to 5,000 who have gone through there.

So, we're not seeing a big problem that the state might be responding to there. We did find there is a very clear political agenda behind this law. In fact, it was articulated by Governor Phil Bryant when he signed the bill into law earlier this year. He said that all along his goal has been an abortion free Mississippi and he believed that this law going into effect was the first step towards that goal -- Ali.

BANFIELD: All right. David, we'll follow the story closely. It's going to be watched not just in the state but all across the country.

David Mattingly for us there.

Now, why are farmers in Iowa upset over the latest multimillion dollar loss in futures industry? Christine is back with that story. It is actually very, very interesting. Some of these things strike as high finance, they actually hit the price of your food.

We'll tell you about it when we come back. You're watching EARLY START.


VELSHI: Minding your business this morning. U.S. stock futures are continuing to trade higher despite the fact European markets are down. A lot of concern about slowing global growth and that's the thing weighing down corporate earnings. We're in earnings season right now.

BANFIELD: Christine Romans is here to talk about that, but also the mysterious death --


BANFIELD: -- of someone in financial business. And it has two futures?

ROMANS: Yes. You know, it was actually a suicide attempt by a founder, kind of like preeminent guy in the futures industry, right? There he is, told he's in a coma, he runs PFGBEST. It's also known as Peregrine Financial, the big futures brokerage firm.

And basically, it's $200 million brokerage scam in Iowa and Chicago, quite frankly, that is freaking out farmers and freaking out people in the futures industry who have been told they can't -- they can't withdraw their money. They can't make any trades right now. They have to seat and wait what happens.

It turns that MF Global, the big MF Global drama, because of new regulations about that, they were looking into all these brokerage firms and they uncovered problems here.

VELSHI: Let's remind our viewers, because we're hearing about futures trading and we're thinking, what does this have to do with me? I've never traded a future in my life.

This is highly specific. These are farmers, regular farmers in many cases who are just hedging their own bets. There's a drought in the Midwest right now. They hedge against the fact the crops might not work.

ROMANS: And they work with a brokerage firms like this. They also do currency trading. So, there are other companies and the like to do. So, this is a drama we have been following here and it comes on the heels of the MF Global thing.

I'm also following the money on the Romney taxes.

VELSHI: Yes. I mean, this is the big talking point about Romney's blind trust, Romney's tax returns, why doesn't he release more of them? It's really providing -- his wealth is providing a gold mine to Democrats who want to hammer him on transparency of his money. We've seen an estimate for his 2011 tax returns. We've seen an estimate for his 2011 tax returns.

But it's interesting, BuzzFeed and others have dug up this 1994 debate between Ted Kennedy, then Senator Ted Kennedy, and Mitt Romney where Mitt Romney is criticizing Ted Kennedy about his blind trust. Listen.


MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The blind trust is an age old ruse, if you will, this is to say, you can always tell the blind trust what it can and cannot do. You give a blind trust rules.


ROMANS: They thought about this in the debate around that time, too. Pretty interesting. I want you to listen to what Joe Biden, the vice president, said yesterday. He is really hammering -- the, quote, "sound bite machine" John Biden hammering on the issue of Romney's money and tax returns, why can't we see more about his accounts, his tax returns, where he's doing business around the world?


JOE BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: He wants you to show your papers but he won't show us his.


ROMANS: Oh, and he said even Mitt Romney's father showed more tax returns than this.

But Jason Chaffetz, a congressman from Utah, to me yesterday, a Republican, he's a surrogate for Governor Romney. He said, he told me, look, this is -- this is almost class envy, taking the focus off the fact that the president is not creating jobs.


REP. JASON CHAFFETZ (R), UTAH: Most people, they don't care about this. Governor Romney has been very successful. Get over it.


ROMANS: Governor Romney has been very successful. Get over it.

And I'm going to tell you right now, the Democrats are not getting over it. People who want to see more of his tax returns are not getting over it. But it's providing --

BANFIELD: But it does but you have to admit that really does give a lot of people the impression that apparently the American dream is something that you can get beat up over. If you do well and he is a self-made man, apparently, this is something that you can get hammered over.

ROMANS: There's no question that he is fabulously wealthy and the tax code favors people who are fabulously wealthy, right?

BANFIELD: Tax code, main issue. It's the tax code.

VELSHI: Right. I don't think he's done anything wrong.

ROMANS: No, no.

BANFIELD: No, but they continue -- I think the Republicans' argument, if they continue hammering this, there's something nefarious, but not having released tax returns and having offshore accounts, somehow amounts him to being less than --

VELSHI: Right. And my response to that is, if nobody has done anything wrong, what's there to hide? You're running for president. I don't need to know yours or yours.

ROMANS: So, you think he should release them all.

VELSHI: I think it should because it's becoming an issue. I don't care. I mean, I don't really care about where Mitt Romney's money is. I care about what he thinks he's going to do about the budget. What he thinks he's going to do about jobs, as Jason Chaffetz said. But if it becomes an issue, you've got to deal with it.

ROMANS: All right. There you go.

VELSHI: All right. Thanks, Christine.

All right. We continue to following this breaking news out of Ohio. It's a trail derailment. The fire has been burning now for about four hours. These are live pictures as the sun comes up just outside of Columbus, Ohio.

We think there's denatured alcohol and styrene burning.

BANFIELD: A lot of smoke.

VELSHI: A lot of smoke. That stuff is not safe.

BANFIELD: Look at the path of that smoke. The chopper shot just showed that that path of smoke is going right over what looks like a freeway, which would be a heavily commuted freeway at 6:30 in the morning, you know, Eastern Time. Wow, that's something to watch.

VELSHI: We'll keep an eye on that.

Twenty-eight minutes after the hour on EARLY START. We'll be right back.


VELSHI: All right. If you're just waking up, we've got breaking news for you. Take a look at an inferno after a freight train crash in a Columbus, Ohio, neighborhood.

BANFIELD: Also making news, House Republicans set to vote on a repeal of President Obama's health care law today, all the while knowing it doesn't stand the chance of going anywhere.

VELSHI: And health mystery solved. CNN has learned that the World Health Organization now knows what killed more than 60 children in Cambodia. Our Sanjay Gupta is there live.

BANFIELD: Welcome back, everyone, to EARLY START. It's nice to have you with us here this morning. I'm Ashleigh Banfield.

VELSHI: I'm Ali Velshi, in for Zoraida Sambolin. It is 32 minutes after the hour.

This morning, we've got brand-new battle over Obamacare. The House is planning to vote today whether to repeal the health care law that sparked a fierce war of words yesterday between Republicans and Democrats.


REP. BOB GOODLATTE (R), VIRGINIA: This is your new health care system, more than 150 new government agencies and programs.

REP. SUSAN DAVIS (D), CALIFORNIA: Here we are debating for the 31st time to repeal health care reform. But again, repeal would be a tragedy for America.

REP. PAUL RYAN (R), WISCONSIN: You can contort and distort and torture statistics long enough and eventually they'll confess. That's what happened here. In reality -- I have no doubt that this will be a budget buster.

REP. LYNN WOOLSEY (D), CALIFORNIA: This is baloney. The arguments are baloney. So baloney, baloney, baloney.


VELSHI: Joining me now is Republican Congresswoman Nan Hayworth. She is the only female physician in congress. So, she knows a lot about this.

Representative Hayworth, thank you very much.

Listen, you know I'm a business guy. We've got an economy on the knife's edge. Republicans like to point that out and rightly so.

You got sequestration coming up, those across the board cut. You got debt ceiling. You got tax reform. You got all sorts of things that are important to deal with.

But you're spending time on a law that is passed by a majority of in Congress and upheld by the Supreme Court. I have to tell you, I think a lot of people think you're wasting their time.

REP. NAN HAYWORTH (R), NEW YORK: Ali, I was just on the ground in the Hudson valley in New York where I am privileged to serve. And people everywhere I went, one of the most frequent comments I heard is you are going to get rid of that law, right?

VELSHI: Representative Hayworth, you see, you hit a soft spot with me, because you know I like the Hudson Valley, but the bottom line is, we actually have polls to go across the country, where a majority of people do not support the health care bill, which Republicans like to point out, because a whole bunch of them actually think it doesn't go far enough.

You can't tell me it matters what people in the Hudson Valley say in the absence of what Americans say. You don't have it on your side.

HAYWORTH: Ali, we have seen survey after survey, different ways of asking the question --

VELSHI: Right.

HAYWORTH: -- different ways of running the numbers. And a plurality to a majority of Americans clearly reject this law. And I can tell you, that certainly the comments I hear -- I've heard positives too, no question. But most of what I've heard are negatives because of the impact that it's had thus far for most of them, especially small businesses and individuals trying to buy insurance in the state of New York where it's very expensive to begin with --

VELSHI: Right.

HAYWORTH: -- is that their insurance premiums have skyrocketed. They are not hiring because they are -- I talk with men and women in business, they are not hiring because they are very concerned about the fiscal cliff that's coming --


VELSHI: You and I are on the same point. I don't believe they are not hiring because of fiscal cliff. I believe if you have more customers and you're able to serve and produce goods for, you'll have to hire, you'll have to buy machinery. But the bottom line is --

HAYWORTH: And it contributes.

VELSHI: -- the fiscal cliff is the expiration of the tax cuts.

The fiscal cliff is the fact that we're going to take 10 percent across the board, off of everything we spend in this country. That's like trimming a steak for fat but not taking the fat off, taking 10 percent of the steak off.

That's not health care. Health care is not part of fiscal cliff.

HAYWORTH: Ali, whatever the federal government takes does not go into the active economy. The more the federal government takes in taxes, in penalties, the more it costs us in regulation. We know that this law is going to run. The 2010 health care law is going to run into thousands and thousands of pieces of regulation, pages of regulation, not all of which have been promulgated.

It's a net 2 trillion plus dead weight cost on the American economy. I said it yesterday, it's economic malpractice.

VELSHI: I know you said that, that was good, I liked that. But let's talk about the cost. The CBO says that it's a $210 billion net reduction, smallinizing of the deficit over 10 years. Are you disputing that number?

HAYWORTH: Well, I am disputing that particular number because the last numbers that I heard from CBO -- as you know, Ali, CBO will work with whatever figures they are given when they are assessing a law as we all know.

But the latest figures from CBO indicated that they were predicting, they were projecting that the law was going to cost roughly twice what they had said it would, somewhere around $1.76 trillion. The initial estimates had been somewhere around $900 billion. It is a very costly law.

And the point is this, Ali, not that the goals are bad, they are great goals, I endorse the goals as a physician and as a Republican. But the problem is, there are better and more cost effective and consumer responsive ways to do it. This is a terrible way --

VELSHI: But that's not what you're putting forward. That's not going to happen on the floor today. That is not what is going to happen.

You're not saying -- you're not going to have Republicans saying, let's pass this law. Let's debate this law. You're just going to vote down a law that's been passed by a majority of the members of the House of Representatives and upheld by the Supreme Court of the United States.

Is that what we elect congresspeople to do? It seems like a waste of time.

HAYWORTH: Ali, number one, that law was passed on a party line vote, as you know.

VELSHI: Everything is passed on a party line vote. That's the problem with politics today. There's still more Democrats in the House than Republicans. I mean, you guys passed things on party line votes. You guys hold things back.

HAYWORTH: Occasionally we do, Ali, but we endeavor -- bring in our Democratic colleagues far more, rightly so, than was the case in the previous two Congresses. When the Supreme Court, when Chief Justice Roberts wrote the opinion that upheld the law, he also commented subsequently that it was not -- and I agree with him -- it is not his job to overturn laws because they are unwise.

VELSHI: Right.

HAYWORTH: It is his job to overturn laws if they are unconstitutional. So there is no Supreme Court endorsement of the law. All they are saying is it's constitutional.

VELSHI: You're right. It's not their job to endorse. It's their job to tell you whether it's legal or not.

Representative Nan Hayworth, always a pleasure to talk with you. Let's continue the conversation in the Hudson Valley because we both enjoy spending time there. Good to have you here.

HAYWORTH: Come up and visit.

VELSHI: I'll do that with pleasure.

BANFIELD: We're coming for lunch.

VELSHI: Right. We can do it for lunch.

HAYWORTH: I can take you to the best places.

VELSHI: Deal. Good to see you, as always.

BANFIELD: Great interview, Ali.

All right. Breaking news to get you up to speed on it.

If you're just waking up, we've been watching this for the last four hours or so, a train derailment and fire subsequently in Columbus, Ohio. It may be that the fire is shrinking in size.

But the fire may not be the problem, it's the smoke that you see on your screen, that could definitely be the problem. The sun has come up. We've got live pictures from our affiliate WBNS this morning of this derailment.

Ninety-seven cars barreling through this community at 2:00 this morning Eastern Time and 11 of them, 11 of them derailing, many of them tankers, many of them carrying hazardous material, particularly denatured alcohol and styrene -- nothing that you want to see burning uncontrolled in your neighborhood.

And speaking of the neighborhood, this is the area where the Ohio state fairgrounds are located. Also Ohio State University is located. And look to the top left of your screen, you can see woodlands apparently the fire hopscotching and causing a few fires in the woods a well and the surrounding areas.

So, we're watching this carefully. Hazmat on the scene, but, man, was that an explosion, 150 feet in the air --

VELSHI: Yes, burning for hours. Still burning but that smoke -- until we know what it is and now dangerous it is, you have no choice except to get out of the way of the smoke.


VELSHI: Find out later whether it was harmful or not.

All right. Something has been killing dozens of children in Cambodia. It is a medical mystery until now. Sanjay Gupta is there.

A live report from him in Cambodia coming up. Forty minutes after the hour. There he is.

We'll be right back on EARLY START.


BANFIELD: Forty-two minutes now past 6:00 on the East Coast.

And CNN has learned that the World Health Organization plans to announce they know what killed more than 60 kids in Cambodia.

And the conclusion is this: it's a combination of things. Pathogens including the enterovirus 71, but also -- and this is a tough one to swallow -- the inappropriate use of steroids. Apparently that worsened the illness in many of these victims and sped up their death.

CNN chief medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta traveled upon hearing about the story to Cambodia. He's live in Phnom Penh.

All right. So, now that we know a little bit more about what caused this and there is more to that, the pathogens, that outline that for us, if you would, Sanjay, and then go further. What does that mean in terms of preventing this and curing this?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, to put in context, first of all, you know, they have samples as many children as they could get but it wasn't all of them. So, you know, they are trying to extrapolate, if you will, Ashleigh, here.

So, what they found, as you mentioned, the enterovirus 71 in a majority of patients but there were a few with other organisms, such as dengue, which is something that is well-known here, and also streptococcus suis, another known bacteria.

And these could be problematic pathogens, they can even sometimes kill. But the question that, you know, people are asking is, these seem so aggressive and killing these children so quickly and causing such destruction of the lungs and exactly what you said, Ashleigh.

They were figuring out, why is it? Why are things behaving differently here? And they sort of landed on this idea that most of the children who died also had received steroids. Steroids can be a great medication. They can be a good anti-inflammatory.

The problem is they can also suppress one's own immune system and they simply can't fight the infection on their own, and it let's that infection sort of run wild. That seems to be the problem and that's exactly right, the World Health Organization is going to mention that.

They're going also going to tell health care folks out there to refrain from using steroids to try to slow this down.

BANFIELD: But Sanjay, if they do that, if they do effectively get the word out and doctors stop using the steroids when they see these kinds of conditions coming into their clinics and their hospitals, does that guarantee that these little kids, you know, some of them dying as young as three months old actually have a fighting chance?

GUPTA: I think it helps a lot, you know? But certainly, you know, you keep in mind here, Ashleigh, this part of the world. I mean, there's been 11,000 cases of (INAUDIBLE) fever just in the past couple of months, and a lot of children have died of that. So, this can be, you know, problematic infections.

But with regard to the, you know, pathogens that we're just discussing, again, you know, they oftentimes don't kill. They can cause hand-foot-and-mouth disease, as you know. That's something that can be easily treated. The streptococcus is something that can be treated with an antibiotic. (INAUDIBLE) is something they deal with all the time, typically does not cause death.

If you take the steroids out of the equation, as again, the World Health Organization is going to encourage healthcare folks to do, I think you reduce the likelihood of death. You may not reduce the likelihood of infections. There's a lot of these infections that are continue, but the deaths and those aggressive awful deaths, I think, can be stopped if not -- slowed down if not completely stopped.

BANFIELD: And listen, it's really frightening for anybody who might be traveling, not only to Cambodia but some of its neighboring areas like Thailand which is heavily tourist , Burma. You know, if anybody is going to that area, do travelers actually have to worry about this?

GUPTA: Well, you know, it didn't seem to be that contagious. It was always something that the doctors here were trying to figure out because you would expect these infections to be contagious. What I think that they think is happening is that people are getting these infections, but mild cases, so mild they may not even know that they have it or certainly not seek treatment for it.

So, the advice is the same probably after all of this, Ashleigh, the same advice applies, which is, you know, this is transmitted by hand to mouth sort of route. So, washing your hands as frequently as possible is still probably your best bet in terms of staving off this infection.

But again, steroids, if you have an infection like this, is not the answer. So, you know, it's obviously ask questions if you're being prescribed any medications.

BANFIELD: It's great information and thank God they've finally come up with some answer to this mystery. Sanjay Gupta, excellent work in Cambodia, and it's nice to see you, and we look forward to you coming home safely. Sanjay Gupta live for us this morning.

VELSHI: Great to have him there in Cambodia. Soledad O'Brien joins us now with a look at what's ahead on "Starting Point." Great to have you back.

SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So much ahead. Thank you very much. Nice to be back. We're talking again about President Obama's healthcare law. The Republicans, as you've been noting, voting to repeal it today. They call the big government as very worse.

Democrats say the focus should be on the economy, little battle over that. That's our focus. We're going to be talking to Congressman Chris Van Hollen. He's a Democrat from the state of Maryland and Texas Republican congressman, Jeb Hensarling, will be our guest, as well. Plus, the co-founder of the Senate Tea Party caucus, Jim DeMint, will be joining us.

Also, you can be sure that the raging Cajun, himself, James Carville will have something to say. He has a secret for the election success. "It's the middle class, stupid" is what he's saying. That's at quote. We're going to let him explain to us what he's talking about.

Plus, award-winning actor, producer, humanitarian, Danny Glover, is going to join us all morning. He'll be paneling with us today.

BANFIELD: Danny Glover on the panel?

O'BRIEN: Yes and be talking about his new project as well, which is an amazing documentary. He'll be with us for the whole two hours. We'll see you right at the top of the show.

VELSHI: A jam packed couple of hours.

O'BRIEN: Twelve minutes or so.

VELSHI: Very good.

BANFIELD: Soledad, nice to see you back.

OK. All eyes on Mitt Romney today as Soledad was just talking about, but for other reasons, too. He's going to be speaking at the NAACP's Annual Convention. So, what can he say to try to court the African-American vote? We're going to get into that with Roland Martin coming right up.


VELSHI: We're following breaking news right now. A trail derailment and fire in Columbus, Ohio has been burning for more than four hours now. It's near Ohio State University. These are live pictures from our affiliate, WBNS, from their chopper. Police say some of the tankers were hauling chemicals. We think there might be denatured alcohol, which is not, other than being flammable, not the worse thing in the world, but may also be styrene, which is dangerous. Anyone living within a mile of the accident has been ordered to evacuate. But as you can see, that smoke is burning. Hazmat crews are on the scene. There were 97 cars in that train. Eleven of which derailed, I believe. That's been burning for a while.

BANFIELD: All right. It is now 52 minutes past 6:00 on the east coast. As we continue to watch that breaking news, we're watching this as well. In just a couple of hours, Mitt Romney is expected to make his biggest push yet to court the African-American vote, because he's going to be speaking at the NAACP's 103rd Annual Convention that's going on in Houston, Texas.

This event has become something of a rite of passage, in fact, for presidential candidates. But, here's the strange part. Guess who's not going to be there? President Obama. And it is a conspicuous absence. Instead, he's going to be sending Joe Biden, his vice president. Biden will speak in his place and that will happen tomorrow.

So, today, Mitt Romney, tomorrow, Mr. Biden. CNN contributor, Roland Martin, will be covering this event all weekend. He's live with us now, just a couple of blocks away from the convention in Houston.

So, the first thing I thought was, well, probably because the president thinks he's got the African-American vote sewn up so that would be sort of doubling efforts where they're not needed. But is that such a wise choice to make, Roland Martin?

ROLAND MARTIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I would never say one has any vote locked up, because turnout is going to be a key especially when you look at some of the critical states. In 2008, then Senator Obama only won North Carolina by 14,000 votes. That is still a state that is in play.

You look at Ohio, you look at Pennsylvania, you look at Florida, those votes are going to be critical. And so, I certainly believe he should have spoken to the NAACP. But again, the Obama campaign says they have a very aggressive outreach effort to reach African- Americans.

BANFIELD: So, I think at last count, he had about 95 percent of the vote sewn up among African-Americans, at least in North Carolina. Let me show you these numbers. We pulled the North Carolina 2008 numbers. Twenty-three percent of North Carolina vote was African- American, and he had 95 percent of that vote.

MARTIN: Right.

BANFIELD: And he beat McCain by just 14,000 votes there, like .3 percent. So, that was a bit of a squeaker even with that solid African-American base. So, here's the deal. This ain't 2008 anymore, and we got 14.4 percent unemployment among African-Americans when among White folk and folk overall, it's only 8.2 percent. That has to resonate among African-Americans and Black Americans. MARTIN: Well, first of all, President Obama still enjoys significant support in the Black community in terms of extremely high numbers. And so, when you look at what Mitt Romney is trying to do, I think back to 1998 when Newt Gingrich was speaker of the House, the GOP was perceived to be extremely combative when it came to minority groups, and they paid for it with White suburban women.

And so, in 2000, when then Governor George W. Bush offered up compassion and conservatism, that was perceived as being a lot more in terms of amenable, if you will, to minority groups. And so, perception matters. And so, one of the things Mitt Romney is going to talk about today is going to be the issue of the economy.

He'll talk about the fact that 53 percent of Black wealth has been wiped out as a result of this session because of the home foreclosure crisis. All of the official Black unemployment numbers 14 percent, the real number in some places is somewhere 28, 30 percent among Black youth, about 48 percent unemployment as well.

When you begin talk about the importance of small businesses, Black women, one of the fastest growing groups when it comes to small businesses in this country prior to the recession, the problem now, of course, is that they likely started those businesses with home equity loans. You lose your home.

You don't have that essence to capital. And so, those are going to be some of the issues that Romney will focus on.

BANFIELD: But it will be interesting, Roland, if we had it more time, I would love to get into this issue with you. It will be interesting to see if Governor Romney decides to touch on voting rights act 1965 and the Texas challenge being that you're in Texas.

MARTIN: There is -- he has to say something about it.

BANFIELD: Make it quick --


MARTIN: Got you.

BANFIELD: No, I was just going to say make it quick. Make the last statement quick.

MARTIN: No. I think he's going to have to touch on that -- major issue this whole week.

BANFIELD: Huge issue for African-Americans. I hope you'll come back and talk to us about it. Thank you, Roland.

MARTIN: Anytime.

BANFIELD: Good to see you. Nice to see you this morning.

MARTIN: Thanks a lot.

VELSHI: And he rocks that (INAUDIBLE).

And sometimes, you realize too late that the best advice would be advice you didn't follow.


VELSHI: Roland can rock everything. We'll be right back.


BANFIELD: "Starting Point" is less than a minute away.

VELSHI: We wrap it up as always with the "Best Advice," which I always get from Christine.

ROMANS: And we get this one from Jack Abramoff, the former GOP lobbyist. Listen.


JACK ABRAMOFF, FORMER REPUBLICAN LOBBYIST: The best advice I ever receive was understand what the rules of the game are and make sure you abide by them and trying not to do anything that you don't want to see on CNN that evening. Unfortunately, I didn't always follow the advice.


ROMANS: Oh, no. He didn't always follow the advice and found himself in the slammer.

BANFIELD: You know what I like --

VELSHI: -- for corruption.

BANFIELD: That's some serious contrition, though. There's one thing I've seen from all the interviews and from his book, et cetera, it's been that he seems to me, anyway, to have shown a lot of contrition since his crime . Yes.

ROMANS: There you go.

BANFIELD: It's nice to know.

That is EARLY START, the news from "A" to normally "Z," but just today, "A" to "A."

VELSHI: "A" to "A." Ashleigh Banfield, I'm Ali Velshi. "Starting Point" with Soledad O'Brien starts right now.

O'BRIEN: And welcome, everybody. Our "Starting Point" this morning, some breaking news. Fire is raging after a freight train crashes and derails in Columbus, Ohio. We'll show you the very latest pictures and tell you what's happening there.

And is the 33rd time the charm? Congress is set to vote today on repeal in President Obama's healthcare law. But is it all leading to a dead end?

And the fight to save the only abortion clinic left in the state of Mississippi. A court decision coming up that could test the limits of Roe v Wade.

Plus, no Spongebobs with the kids, no Snooki or Jon Stewart for the adults, a battle between DirecTV and Viacom is blocking out many of your favorite channels this morning.

We've got a pack show ahead. We're talking to Congressman Chris Van Hollen from Maryland. Texas Republican congressman, Jeb Hensarling is our guest, as well. Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina, and CNN contributor, James Carville has a co-author, Stan Greenberg. They've got a new book. It's called, "It's The Middle Class, Stupid." We'll talk about that.

It's Wednesday, July 11th, and "Starting Point" begins right now.