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Doctors: Pathogen Mix Caused Mystery Illness; Train Derails In Columbus; Billionaire Heir Arrested; Florida Teen Loses Arm In Gator Attack; House To Vote On Health Care Law; CDC Provides Wedding Survival Guide; House Republicans To Hold Vote on Repealing Obamacare; Mississippi May Effectively Shut Down Sole Abortion Clinic in State

Aired July 11, 2012 - 07:00   ET


SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: 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, tell you what's happening there. And is the 33rd time the charm? Congress is set to vote today on repealing President Obama's health care 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 could test the limits of Roe v Wade. Plus, no Sponge Bob for the kids, no Snooki or Jon Stewart for the adults, a battle between direct TV and Viacom is blacking out many of your favorite channels this morning.

We're talking to Chris Van Hollen from Maryland and Texas Republican Jeb Hensarling is our guest as well, Senator Jim DeMint from South Carolina, and CNN contributor James Carville and co-author Stan Greenburg, they have a new book called "It's the Middle Class, Stupid." STARTING POINT begins right now.

You know what, we have never had Richie Havens starting off this morning. This is Danny Glover's playlist. Thanks for being with us. He is an Oscar nominated actor and producer of a new documentary called "Shenandoah." Ryan Lizza is back with us. He's the Washington correspondent from the "New Yorker." Will Cain is a columnist from I missed you terribly.

WILL CAIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: It's been 12 hours since we've seen each other. I get to meet one of my favorite actors, Deets from lone some dove.

O'BRIEN: Are you from Texas?

DANNY GLOVER, ACTOR: If you don't like lonesome dove, you're in trouble.

RYAN LIZZA, "NEW YORKER": You might have to switch spots today.

O'BRIEN: I was going to say "Lethal Weapon" but everybody says that, right?

Our STARTING POINT this morning, breaking news, hazmat crews are on the scene, a spectacular fire, taking place in Ohio. A train was pulling several tankers derailed just before 2:00 this morning. The accident happened in the north end of Columbus, which is near Ohio state university and the Ohio state fairgrounds, the explosion and flames could be seen and felt for miles. Everyone within a mile of that scene has been ordered to leave their homes because police believe some of those tankers are hauling sulfur. And they are worried what could happen to the people and residences nearby. It's a very dangerous situation there right now.

Another big story is on Capitol Hill. Health care reform is front and center as Republicans are voting today to try to repeal it, "try" being the operative word there because anybody can tell you it's not going to happen. The vote is mostly symbolic. One lawmaker likens the battle to lunchmeat.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is your new health care system, more than 150 new government agencies and programs.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Here we are debating for the 31st time to repeal health care reform, but, again, repeal would be a tragedy for America.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 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.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is baloney. The arguments are baloney -- so baloney, baloney, baloney.


O'BRIEN: Hence my lunch meat reference. You had to kind of stay with me on that. Dan Lothian is live this morning. Good morning.

DAN LOTHIAN, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Good morning. As you've heard the 3rd vote by house Republicans to either repeal the law or have it thrown out or undermine parts of the law. This is more as you've heard about making a point here because with Democrats controlling the Senate, this is most likely going to die. And even if it doesn't, beyond that the White House has made it clear that the president would veto the pressure if it came to it.

Nonetheless, Republicans spent yesterday in committee hearings, debating this issue. They still argue that this health care law is more about government intrusion in the lives of Americans and in the long term does very little to control the growing cost of health care.

But even beyond that, they also see this as a way to energize supporters, voters, against this law and against President Obama in the upcoming November election. So you're seeing these strong attacks from both sides. Democrats say that this is all about political posturing, bordering on an obsession. One Democratic lawmaker comparing that obsession to the Glenn Close character in the movie "Fatal Attraction." I should point out this is the first vote taking place since the Supreme Court upheld the ruling and Democrats thought that that ruling would have essentially put an end to this entire debate.

O'BRIEN: No, no, they hoped. I believe you mean they hoped it would put an end to the entire debate. They didn't think it was going to. Dan Lothian this morning at the White House, thank you. We appreciate that update.

It's interesting, energized supporters is what Dan is talking about, trying to see if this can energize supporters. But when you look at polling, it's kind of split down the middle. Is there a risk in having a debate about something that the Supreme Court has said it law?

CAIN: Risk for a public --

O'BRIEN: I guess so, yes.

CAIN: I don't think so. Because the polls do suggest the law remains unpopular and this is a way --

O'BRIEN: Barely, down the middle, it's fair to say, the biggest poll difference is something like 51 percent to 43 percent.

CAIN: This is a way for legislators to check the box and register where they stand on this law.

LIZZA: Look, in this election we'll talk about this all year, little bit more of a base election than an independent swing vote election, right? The number of people in the middle who genuinely swing between the two parties has been declining. The Democrats and Republicans are going to concentrate on getting out the hard core supporters so issues like this are important in doing that.

So I don't think there' is any risk for the Republicans in pushing this. They have a slight advantage on the issue according to some polling. But more importantly it energized the conservative supporters that didn't love Romney during the primaries. I watched the proceedings last night on c-span.

O'BRIEN: A man with not enough to do.

CAIN: There was an all-star game last night.

LIZZA: I know. One of the things you realize watching that, there's a great difference between the -- really good congressman with good arguments and really bad ones as well.

O'BRIEN: Not everybody has read the entire thing is my sense.


GLOVER: One of the things that I think we have to consider about this health plan, health care plan, while not perfect it sets the stage for something that could be much better. I mean, we've been talking and there's been some conversations about a universal health care plan ever since the end of World War II. Yet we don't realize how fundamentally broken the health care system is in this country. You know, we're often seduced by the information we have in terms of just the pharmaceutical companies and insurance companies, but there's a real crisis in terms of health care when you have 50 million people without health care. You have children without health care. This is going to provide a mechanism, people, while not perfect, people at the lowest edges of the economy can have health care. I think that's the reality that some people pushing, some people dismiss. I think that government's responsibility is one, to go beyond what the Harris poll says and act what is fundamentally a basic human right itself.

LIZZA: One of the amazing things to me in the Republican talking points in debating this, they kept coming back to defending Medicare and talking about how this Bill takes money from Medicare to fund Obama's plan. Now, of course, when Medicare was passed Republicans opposed that similarly to how they are opposing Obamacare. So you can imagine decades from now, once this is implemented and becomes popular that there's a consensus just like there is now on Medicare, that this universal health care system, if it's successful, is supported by both parties.

O'BRIEN: We're going to have lots of opportunities. We'll talk about it until the election and all morning too. In a few moments we'll be joined from Chris Van Hollen from Maryland. And we'll talk to Jeb Hensarling and in the next hour, Jim DeMint will join us again, the co-founder of the Senate tea party caucus.

First though, we want to get to Christine Romans with an update on the top stories. Good morning.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, Soledad, also developing this morning, investigators trying to find out what caused a mystery odor that made a flight crew sick and forced an emergency landing last night. The U.S. airways flight from charlotte to Rome was diverted to Philadelphia. Attendants told the captain they were feeling sick and smelled something strange. An airline spokesperson says five crew members were taken to the hospital and released. Passengers were eye vak waited and put on another flight. None of the passengers got sick.

A woman who abandoned her 19-year-old special needs daughter outside a bar will not be charged. Police say Eva Cameron left her daughter Lynn outside a bar in Tennessee then drove home to Illinois. Our affiliate WVLT spoke to Eva who says she has the best intention.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I didn't get the help I need from Illinois, somebody at the church said why don't you go down to Tennessee. They have a good health care system. Then her I.D. card got lost and she became a Jane Doe.


ROMANS: Her daughter Lynn Cameron has visual impairment and nonverbal. Because Lynn is older than 18 her mother did not commit a crime and cannot be charged. The reporter who interviewed Eva Cameron will join us live on STARTING POINT this morning. They want their MTV -- Direct TV dropped Viacom channels, comedy central, bet, Nickelodeon. They have been at odds for months over carriage fees.

A giant win for the National League. The NL powered by San Francisco Giants player Pablo Sandoval the NL powered by San Francisco scored five runs in the first inning and never looked back, shutting out the American league, 8-0. Cabrera awarded MVP. Of course, all of you were watching the Republican health care debate so you missed those all-star highlights.

O'BRIEN: Not all of us.


O'BRIEN: I believe that was Ryan and that's it.

ROMANS: That was for you, Ryan.

O'BRIEN: Thanks, Christine.

The vote to repeal health care, let's get right to Chris Van Hollen, he represents Maryland. He's the ranking democrat on the budget committee. Thanks for being with us.

REP. CHRIS VAN HOLLEN, D-MARYLAND: Good morning, Soledad.

O'BRIEN: Thank you. I know you're about to say great to be with you, Soledad.


O'BRIEN: I appreciate that. How many Democrats are you expected to cross over and vote? This is the 3rd vote on all or parts of this particular Bill. Last time I believe the number was three Democrats who sort of went over to the other side. What number do you think it's going to be now?

VAN HOLLEN: I don't know the answer to that. It will be very few, just like the first round. And as you indicated this is the 33rd time this session of Congress that we've voted to repeal this piece of legislation. It is an empty political gesture.

I was listening to the earlier conversation, there's no doubt it helps to energize the Tea Party base but I think it actually alienates independent voters when they see Congress wasting taxpayer resources doing this yet again when we haven't voted once, not once on the president's jobs initiative he presented last September. So zero opportunity in the House of Representatives to vote on the president's jobs plan, and yet now we're 33 times voting to overturn Obamacare which is not going anywhere in which the Supreme Court just upheld.

O'BRIEN: If you have three Democrats who cross over, I'm guessing at that, the number you had last time around, what does that signal? What does that do to your cause if there's no Democratic unity on this? VAN HOLLEN: I think when you have three or very few Democrats voting with the Republicans, I don't think that's an example of lack of unity. You're going to have an overwhelming support from Democrats. And of course the Democratic Senate will not take this up. The president has said he would veto any effort to overturn this law.

And the irony here, Soledad, is you have Republican colleagues working so hard to eliminate patient protections that are in place right now that they themselves enjoy as members of Congress. They have insurance policies that make sure that when their kids have diabetes or asthma or other preexisting conditions, they are covered, and yet now they are voting to deny those same protections to millions of Americans.

O'BRIEN: The polls kind of are all over the place on this. When the "Washington Post" asked, how's Obama handling health care, only 41 percent approved, 52 percent disapprove. Among independents, 43 percent, 53 percent disapprove. About the Supreme Court decision, a little more closely split, I think, 47 percent approve, 43 percent disapprove, and 10 percent don't even know. Do you worry that in fact that the poll numbers are not supporting the position that people really feel strongly about the health care law, that maybe the American people in polling support what the Republicans are doing today?

VAN HOLLEN: I think the polls show there's growing support for the health care law as more and more people realize what's in it and benefit from it. We know that right now there are millions of people already benefitting for example from the provision that lets them keep their kids on health insurance until they are age 26. Look, we all know this law was demagogued. There was lots of misinformation. The Republican called it a government takeover of health care. The independent fact checker Politifact said it was the lie of the year in 2010 and create death panels.

I think the American people are beginning to set aside all of the demagoguery and beginning to focus on what the Bill actually does. This provides much greater security to middle class Americans who when this law is fully in place, will not have to worry about losing their health care when they lose their job. They'll still be able to have that security for their families in addition to the patient protections that they'll have that as I said members of Congress have for themselves and their families.

O'BRIEN: Chris Van Hollen, a Democrat from Maryland, thanks for being with us.

CAIN: Over the course of this morning, I expect Mr. Danny Glover and I might have disagreements. We started with a place of agreement, and that is this health care bill sets the stage for something more. He said it's not going anywhere. I would beg to differ with that. With six states opting out of the Medicare provision and the fact that the penalty tax, penalty, tax, is so paltry compared to the cost of insurance, you'll see numerous, thousands of people opting to pay the penalty. It can't exist the way it's written. It won't work. One of two things would happen -- repeal, or a massive evolution of the law as we know it now.

LIZZA: The penalty ratchets up over time.

CAIN: It's two percent of your income. If I make $100,000 a year, that's $2,000 a year. I have a family of four, I pay $15,000 in New York for insurance. I'll pay the penalty and jump in when I get sick.

LIZZA: You're not going to buy insurance?

CAIN: The chief justice Supreme Court said that is a valid economic choice for me to make.

LIZZA: The government can ratchet it up to whatever they want --

CAIN: I think you just illustrated my point. It will massively evolve over time or be repealed.

LIZZA: I doubt it will be repealed even if Romney is president. It would be as difficult as to put it in place. He would need 60 votes in the Senate and he would going to spend his first year trying to fix health care?

CAIN: If they are massively going to ratchet up the tax --

LIZZA: Not massively ratchet it up, but it can be adjusted over time.

O'BRIEN: I'll let you work out over the commercial break. You disagree.

CAIN: He's always got more.

O'BRIEN: Then we'll carry on. Guess what, we're discussing it all morning -- all year, you're right.

A new scandal is bubbling to the surface in this economic crisis, a trading firm going under. The founder attempts suicide -- $215 million is missing. We're going to explain what's happening there.

Plus, a controversial decision is coming that could effectively end abortions in the state of Mississippi.

Plus the CDC is offering tips to survive the plague of bride- zillas. We'll give you the wedding season survival guide.

CAIN: Not the most ridiculous thing they have done this year.

O'BRIEN: Ryan's play list the Troggs --

LIZZA: If they play your song, that means you won the debate.

O'BRIEN: Not at all. Nice try, though.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) ROMANS: Welcome back to STARTING POINT. I'm Christine Romans minding your business this morning. The futures industry still reeling from the Mf Global scandal, still rocked by a brokerage firm trying to track down money. Iowa based Peregrine Financial Group is accused of losing $2 million in customer funds, the trading commission filed a lawsuit against the group and referred to as PFG Best. The founder is in a coma after trying to commit suicide. The company trades for farmers and individual investors. All of those accounts have been frozen.

San Bernardino is the third to seek bankruptcy protection, facing a $46 million shortfall and may not be able to pay its employees, despite getting $10 million in concessions from its workers and slashing its workforce by 20 percent over the past four years. Soledad?

O'BRIEN: Christine, thank you for that update.

A hearing in Mississippi today will decide the fate of the state's last remaining abortion clinic. In effect decide the fate of abortion in the state of Mississippi all together. A new law requires that physicians at the Jackson women's health organization be certified OB-GYN and have admitting privileges. Supporters say it's a safety measure. The clinic said it can't get its out-of-state doctors hospital privileges. The law was suspended by a federal judge on July 1st. The same judge will preside over today's hearing, which will determine whether or not to lift that suspension. Ahead in just a moment, we'll hear from Planned Parenthood southeast. First we're joined by Sam Mims, the Mississippi state congressman who sponsored that law. Thank you for talking with us. We certainly appreciate it. Why do you think this law is a good thing?


O'BRIEN: Good morning to you.

MIMS: We believe health care is very important here in Mississippi. We do believe this is a health care issue for women. So the legislation is quite simple. It mandates that every ob-gyn at this one facility has been certified and more importantly anybody that's performing abortions at this sole facility clinic, must have privileges at a local hospital. We really believe this is a health care issue for women.

O'BRIEN: Ultimately though, what you're doing, since the state has one abortion clinic and you're creating this additional requirement, you're going to shut down this particular clinic with that requirement, right, of having admitting privileges which are -- everybody would admit very hard to get for an out of state doctor, correct?

MIMS: Not at all. We have one abortion clinic in Mississippi, they had 75 days to become compliant with the legislation, they still have the opportunity to have a physician receive admitting privileges at the local hospital. We are not banning abortion in Mississippi. We simply don't have that ability. This is intended for health care for women and we believe this is what's best for Mississippi.

O'BRIEN: So I'll get to the health care thing in just a moment. There's a state rep, Lester Carpenter said this recently. "We've literally stopped abortion in the state of Mississippi. Three blocks from the capital sits the only abortion clinic in the state of Mississippi," this is the one we're talking about, "a bill was drafted and said if you would perform an abortion in the state you must be certified ob-gyn with admitting privileges to the hospital." This guy is a paramedic. "Anybody here in the medical field knows how hard it is to get admitting privileges to a hospital partly because many of these hospitals have religious affiliations so there's no way you'll get someone who is going to have admitting privileges at a certain hospital if they are a doctor who performs abortions, which effectively bans abortions in the state."

MIMS: Well, I'm chairman of the public health committee in the Mississippi house and this bill came through night committee. The intent of this legislation is for health care for women. We believe this is a very serious procedure, we believe that the physicians ought to have admitting privileges at a local hospital.

We hope and pray that nothing goes wrong during this procedure, but things do go wrong. They've gone wrong in other states. This will allow that physician to follow that patient to a local hospital. I will tell you, there's probably about nine or ten other states that have this type of legislation. I look at this as a licensure and regulation on this one facility clinic. This is a licensure issue.

O'BRIEN: There are other procedures done, level two and level three procedures done in other hospitals and people don't have to be admitting privileges, they can get written privileges, written admissions with a doctor who would coordinate with them. So other medical procedures where you could die on the table or be severely injured, they don't have to have a doctor with admitting privileges. Why do they get an exception where someone who's going to have an abortion does not get that exception?

MIMS: This legislation passed deals with this one solo abortion clinic --

O'BRIEN: This is the only one.

MIMS: That's correct. This is the only facility in Mississippi and passed by bipartisan support in the house and Senate. Again, it's a health care issue. One issue is too many for us. If we have one case something goes wrong in this clinic, to me, that's one too many. A woman who is receiving abortions -- a woman who receiving abortions, we want them to get best care possible and be able to have that physician follow that patient at a local hospital.

O'BRIEN: It's much more risky to have a baby full term than it is to have an abortion. Studies have been done on that.

MIMS: I can tell you as a father of three, I can tell you it is a very serious procedure when a woman chooses life and has that baby. But we believe that's important, and we also think there's other options. If a person wants to not care for this newborn baby, there's positions - adoptions. So we think there are other ways to not have that child besides an abortion. Again, this is a health care issue and we feel strong about this piece of legislation.

O'BRIEN: Leola Reis is the vice president of external affairs for Planned Parenthood in the southeast. You heard Mr. Mims say it's a health care issue. Does he have a point?

LEOLA REIS, VICE PRESIDENT OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS, PLANNED PARENTHOOD: It's so disingenuous, if the policy makers really cared about health care, they wouldn't have spent so much time regulating abortion services. There's health care crises and disparities in Mississippi that policy makers have not begun to address. They spent time regulating what is a very safe procedure.

O'BRIEN: He has said basically that there are doctors who are ob-gyns and having admitting privileges at the local hospital are the rules. I think for many that seems reasonable in case there's some type of emergency and did doctors can bring them to the hospital?

REIS: It's just not medically necessary. The most important thing is the women of Mississippi have access to all reproductive health care including abortion. Abortion is safe and highly regulated and it's time for lawmakers to do what Planned Parenthood does every day, and that's to ensure there's reproductive health care for all women, except for Mississippi where they have the highest levels of unintended pregnancy, teen pregnancies, high HIV and STD rates and work on addressing better health care for women and not putting so much time and effort in regulating what is a highly regulated but safe procedure.

O'BRIEN: As he points out, nine other states have a similar provision he points out.

REIS: Just because there's other states that have them doesn't make them medically necessary. These are board certified physicians. It's a common and safe procedure. Again, it's about regulating something that is common, that is safe and putting a lot of effort into making abortion inaccessible for women in Mississippi when it's important that they focus on health care and providing preventative services that are missing for so many women in Mississippi.

O'BRIEN: The hearing is this afternoon in Mississippi so I guess we'll see what the judge decides there. (Inaudible), I thank you both for being with me this morning. Certainly appreciate your time.

Still ahead this morning on STARTING POINT, what's killing dozens of children in Cambodia? This morning, the mystery apparently is solved. Got a live report from Dr. Sanjay Gupta, he is in Cambodia with that report.

Also if you're trying to prepare for your wedding, there's a new guide to help you. It's brought to you by the CDC. It's our get real this morning. You're watching STARTING POINT. We're back in just a moment.


O'BRIEN: Welcome back to STARTING POINT. In just a few minutes, we're going to be talking to Texas Republican Congressman Jeb Hensarling. He's our guest.

He is going to tell us why he thinks repealing the health care law is a good idea. We're back with our team this morning. We don't call anybody a panel anymore. We call it a team.

Mr. Danny Glover, he's a filmmaker, he's humanitarian and he's an actor, of course, is our guest for the entire two hours. We appreciate having you.

We're going to talk a little bit about your film "Shenandoah", this morning, a riveting story taking place in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania, just heartbreaking and a tremendous documentary.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But triumphant for the community. It's become something that has changed the community as well.

O'BRIEN: We're also just really thinking about the number of Twitter follows. What did you say?

LIZZA: It's 1.4 million Twitter followers.

O'BRIEN: And how many tweets?

LIZZA: Very impressive ratio.

O'BRIEN: This morning Ryan Lizza of the ratio. He, of course, with the "Washington New Yorker" office and then Will Cain is with us as well.

It's nice to have you. Let's get right to Sanjay Gupta talking about what we have now learned, which is that the World Health Organization is going to announce today that they know what killed those more than 60 children in Cambodia.

Their conclusion is that it's a combination of pathogens including something called the Enterovirus 71 and the use of steroids on these children apparently made the illness worse in many of the victims.

It brings us right to Sanjay. He is live in Phnom Penh in Cambodia for us. Sanjay, good morning. What do we know and what can be done to prevent this disease?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, what we know is that there were different pathogens, as you mentioned, Enterovirus 71 was one we've been discussing for a few days now, but also streptococcus and then dengue, something that is endemic in this part of the world.

The question, Soledad, people were trying to answer now for sometime is, these pathogens, we know they exist and we know that they can make people sick.

But to be this deadly and to act this quickly, remember these kids were dying within 24 hours of getting to the hospital. What was tipping them over the edge?

And the steroid use seems to be a common culprit here. Steroids as you know can be a very effective medication a potent anti- inflammatory.

The problem is, Soledad, it can also suppress the immune system and take an otherwise, you know, bad bug, but not killer bug and turn it into something deadly.

So that was I think sort of the important thing that came out of the World Health Organization, sort of piecing a lot of these pieces of puzzle together.

In terms of prevention, the one piece of good news in all of this, Soledad, is that while some of the organisms can be contagious and can spread within households or communities. That does not appear to be happening.

It could be some people are getting the infection but not getting very sick and therefore not even seeking treatment or knowing that they have it. The prevention is the same.

You know, after all of this reporting, Soledad, it comes down to basic advice you and I have talked about a lot, which this is transmitted hand to mouth.

So washing the hands as much as you can no matter where you are in the world, whether at home or traveling through Cambodia is your best means of prevention and not using steroids if you have a diagnosed infection.

O'BRIEN: So good that they were able to figure out what it is. That was a brutal story. All right, Sanjay, thank you for the update from Cambodia for us this morning. We appreciate it.

The rest of the top stories, let's get right to Christine Romans. Good morning, Christine.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning. Breaking news we've been following all morning for you, hazmat crews on the scene of a huge fire in Ohio where a train pulling several tankers derails just before 2:00 a.m.

This accident happened in the north end of Columbus near Ohio State University and the Ohio State fairgrounds. The explosion and flames could be felt and seen for miles.

Everyone within a mile has been ordered to leave their homes because police believe some of those tankers may have been pulling denatured alcohol and styrene, so chemical fire there.

The son of one of the world's richest men arrested after his wife was found dead in their London home. Hans Christian Rausing is heir to the Tetra Pack Fortune.

He was picked up by police Monday on suspicion of drug possession. When police went to his home, they found his wife there, Eva, 48 years old, dead. He's now being held in connection with her death.

Incredible video to show you this morning after leading police on a high speed chase, an L.A. unified school teacher launched his truck over a hill in a suspected suicide attempt.

Kip Arnold is accused of unlawful sexual activity with a minor. He's been under surveillance by authorities. Arnold was taken into custody and transported to the hospital for evaluation. The district attorney will review this case and determine what charges will be filed.

A gator bit off his arm and he lived to tell about it. A 17- year-old Kaleb Langdale was swimming with his friends Monday on a river in Moore Haven, Florida when he suddenly came face to face -- face to snout with a 10-foot gator.


KALEB LANGDALE, LOST ARM IN ALLIGATOR ATTACK: Well, he started pulling me down and I knew it's either this bone -- I've got to lose this arm or I'm going to die.


ROMANS: Wildlife officials were able to track down the gator and killed it. They retrieved Caleb's arm, but the limb was too mangled to be saved. Lucky kid.

O'BRIEN: Wow. All right, Christine, thank you.

Coming up next on STARTING POINT, Texas Republican Congressman Jeb Hensarling is going to join us live. He'll tell us why he thinks repealing the health care law could create more jobs.

Also a new guide to help you get ready for your wedding. It's funded by taxpayers and put out by the CDC. Our "Get Real" is coming up. You're watching STARTING POINT.


O'BRIEN: Welcome back to STARTING POINT, everybody. The House is voting on the Affordable Care Act today. Republicans are trying to repeal the law, which was upheld by the Supreme Court just two weeks ago.

Many are critical of today's vote saying that there have been 32 prior attempts to repeal the law. None so far have survived the Democratically-controlled Senate.

If the repeal passes the House today, it's also unlikely to survive in the Senate. It brings us to Congressman Jeb Hensarling. He's a Republican from Texas who supports repealing the health care law.

He's also the chairman of the House Republican Congress. It's nice -- conference, it's nice to see you, sir.

REP. JEB HENSARLING, R-TEXAS: Good morning, thanks for having me.

O'BRIEN: My pleasure. Good morning to you. Republicans continue to try to repeal the law. This is attempt never 33. It never makes its way to the Senate. I think it's fair to ask, what's the point in this?

HENSARLING: Well, number one, this happens to be the seminal issue of our time. People who have worked for government-controlled health care worked on it for 20 years.

Those of us who want patient-centered health care have had two years to repeal it. I think it's kind of unreasonable to think we're going to go away. Second of all, I believe it's the will of the American people. I certainly know in the Fifth Congressional District of Texas the district I represent it's the will of those people.

And Soledad, the third point I would make is after the Supreme Court ruling, this is a different law. It is now the law of the land that the individual mandate is a tax. Many people who voted for Obamacare if the first place said they would never raise taxes on those who made below $200,000.

Well, according to the Supreme Court, that's what the law does. Second of all, the Supreme Court found the forced Medicaid expansions to the states unconstitutional. That fundamentally changes the law and drives up the cost for the federal taxpayer.

So this is a fundamentally different law and then last but not least, we had yet again a terrible dismal jobs report for the last month, 41 straight months of 8 percent plus unemployment, the worst since the great depression.

You ask any business person what's the main impediment to creating jobs, they say government red tape and at the top of the list is the president's health care plan.

O'BRIEN: The same people could say, so Congress should be working on that and not circling around health care, which has already been passed by -- approved by the Supreme Court.

HENSARLING: Soledad, health care is all about jobs and the economy. Again, you talk to any small business person who has 47, 48 employees, like the guy who runs my favorite restaurant in Texas.

He's never going to go beyond 50 employees because of the president's health care law, the medical device tax. I have a tool and dye manufacturing in Jacksonville, Texas who serves the medical device industry.

He says that the medical device tax doesn't go away. He's probably going to have to layoff to a quarter to third of his workforce -- O'BRIEN: But when you look at the actual polling --

HENSARLING: I have other people, if I could --

O'BRIEN: You've got multipart answers today. I get you on that. But when you look at the overall polling, best approach to health care reform law among people who do not support the health care law.

So these are people who do not support the law itself, repeal it. Only 33 percent say they should repeal it. Repeal some of it, 30 percent, wait and see, 34 percent.

When you look at the polling, it's pretty much divided down the middle. Are you worried that there could be repercussions to spending all this time and all this energy.

And 30 -- 33 attempts at repealing all or some of it to -- an election year and election season where people will look at that you're not really doing what you're essentially there to do.

HENSARLING: You know, Soledad, I tried to do what's right. I tried to listen to my constituents. I don't worship at the altar of public opinion polls.

But I got to tell you, the vast majority of public opinion polls I've seen show a majority of Americans want this law repealed. Frankly, the longer it's out there the numbers grow to repeal it.

Frankly, we pick up Democrat votes to repeal. I mean, there's bipartisan support for repeal --

O'BRIEN: How many votes do you think you're going to get?

HENSARLING: You know, I haven't counted the votes.

O'BRIEN: Give me a guess.

HENSARLING: -- welfare reform, I look at civil rights, a lot of these great laws in America had to be voted on many, many times and you build the vote each time you vote on it.

But again, health care, this Obamacare with $800 billion in new taxes, $1.7 trillion cost, which soon is to increase, is one of the great inhibiters of job growth.

It is job number one of the House Republican conference to work on jobs and frankly, there are a lot of reasons to repeal Obamacare, but creating jobs and improving the economy is certainly a significant one. That's why we need to revote it today.

O'BRIEN: Jeb Hensarling joining us this morning. It's nice to see you, sir, as always. We appreciate your time.

HENSARLING: Thank you.

O'BRIEN: So when you hear Congressman Hensarling talk about connecting the health care act to jobs. Do you think that's a connection that the voters make as well or no?

LIZZA: I think some voters may connect it, but I would point out that, with all due respect to the congressman, that it's not true. It's just not true that what is harming the American economy right now is a law that hasn't been implemented yet or even the fear on the part of employers of that law.

O'BRIEN: He's talking more about fear than the actual --

LIZZA: Find me a serious group -- overwhelming opinion of economists is that the health care law has almost nothing to do what's wrong with the economy right now. This is a demand led problem. There's lack of demand. It is not regulations. It is not regulations --

WILL CAIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: You're speaking from on the high mount of economics and I would suggest you need to incorporate a tad more humility into that economic analysis.

There are economists out there that suggest what the health care law has done is it inserted uncertainty in the economy and uncertainty is very, very integral to the future of an economy.

O'BRIEN: Go ahead.

CAIN: That's simply not true. That's simply false.

O'BRIEN: Stop. Go ahead, Mr. Glover.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I mean, the health care law, let's just make it blank. It has nothing to do with the dismal --

CAIN: Now that you two have both made the distinction.

DANNY GLOVER, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER, "SHENANDOAH": It has nothing to do with that. I mean, certainly, when we talk about the economy, we have to talk about how do we reintroduce -- reenergize the economy. How do we get people working again and all of that?

If we get people to working again, they pay taxes, one. They are also able to deal with or the health care is out there as well. So the economy itself, I mean, I think that's about the most disingenuous assumption I have seen to date.

CAIN: Look, fellows, I never said that the economy is solely at the whim of the Affordable Care Act. But we can just sit here and trade falsehoods back and forth. To say it has contributed nothing, I'm sorry, guys, that's false.

LIZZA: If you watched the debate and the interview from Hensarling right now, Republicans are arguing that the Affordable Care Act is at the heart of what's wrong with the economy right now. That's just not true. It's not a partisan debate. It's just not true.

O'BRIEN: All right, we got to take a break. Coming up in our next hour, we're going to talk to Senator Jim DeMint. He's a Republican from South Carolina, co-founder of the Senate Tea Party Caucus. And still ahead on STARTING POINT, if you're planning a wedding, there's a new guide to help you, funded by your tax dollars and written by the CDC. It's our "Get Real" this morning. You're watching STARTING POINT. We're back in just a moment.


O'BRIEN: Time to "Get Real" this morning. If you're going to a wedding this summer, just remember, it's also hurricane season. There's a group that's helping us all prepare for Mother Nature, the CDC, the Centers for Disease Control, our tax dollars hard at work.

The CDC has put out a list of ways to prepare for your wedding on its blog. It realized that planning for a wedding is kind of like planning for a disaster, some weddings turn into disasters. I'm not speaking of my own. I'm just saying.

They say this. Build an emergency kit. Safety pins, makeup, sedatives. Sedatives, let's repeat that one. Sedatives for the bride. Have a first aid kit ready in case there are accidents when the bouquet is thrown.

Extra food, important documents. Make a plan. Be ready to contact guests in case of emergency. Have emergency telephone numbers handy. Umbrellas for rain. Have someone stay on top of things. That would be the maid of honor, I'm told.

Stay informed. Pay attention to the weather. Know which family members are fighting. Keep an eye on the bridezilla's mood. That is the most important thing.

The CDC says all of this and this blog is actually a public health matters blog. It's pretty funny, and what they are doing is really weaving in wedding season with pretty humorous attempt at --

GLOVER: It's an attempt to make it funny.

O'BRIEN: It is.

GLOVER: All right, all right.

O'BRIEN: My delivery wasn't good.

GLOVER: The CDC has better things to do.

CAIN: Well, the question is, why? They also put out a zombie guide survival. Why does the CDC do this?

O'BRIEN: Here's why because when you read the actual blog, what they do is they weave in all the other sort of web sites that they have said already, get a kit, make a plan, be informed so they are, where you can search for information.

LIZZA: It's what every web site does these days.

O'BRIEN: Get a good headline. Link bait. I thought it was very funny. Danny Glover was not impressed, but I thought it was funny.

LIZZA: Come for the wedding survival kit. Stay for the other things.

O'BRIEN: Yes. Come for the wedding survival, but now you know how to prepare for a hurricane.

LIZZA: We need a STARTING POINT survival kit for this morning, sedatives.

O'BRIEN: I was going to say something, but I'll wait until the commercial break for that. I'm sure I can't say that on TV.

Still ahead on STARTING POINT, "It's The Economy, Stupid." That 1992 campaign slogan worked wonderfully for Bill Clinton. We'll tell you how Democrats are now tweaking that, hoping it will work for them now.

And can you say awkward? Vice President Joe Biden makes people squirm as he tells a story about how he was raised.

And House Republicans preparing for a meaningless vote trying to repeal the health care law today. We're going to be chatting with Republican Senator Jim DeMint about why they're bothering.

Here is Jim DeMint's play list, Safari's "Wipeout." Apparently, he played this song in his high school band. You're watching STARTING POINT. We're back in just a moment.


O'BRIEN: Our STARTING POINT this morning, some breaking news. Fire and fear after a freight train carrying chemicals crashes and derailed in Columbus, Ohio.

Refighting the battle over health care, Congress is set to vote again on repealing President Obama's health care law --