American Morning

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January 5th, 2010
02:00 PM ET

We Listen: Your Comments – January 5, 2010

Editor's Note: Tuesday’s American Morning audience reacted strongly to part two of Carol Costello's report on health care lobbying groups.

  • Dan: Absolutely un-[…]-believable!! Costello is doing a feature on lobbying the health care bill and she singles out the SEIU? Can no one at CNN tell the difference between groups who lobby for the rights of average Americans and those who spend tens of millions trying to protect the profits of the huge health industry corporations? In this age where "lobbyists" are framed in a very negative light, singling out SEIU, and AARP, is reprehensible. Of course, those groups are not spending nearly the sums that the industry groups are on advertising on CNN. You people truly suck.
  • Eliot: I was interested this morning to FINALLY see a story coming up about the outsized influence lobbyists are playing in the health care debate. I was, however, shocked to see your story focused exclusively on the SEIU president and their lone lobbyist and contained not a mention of the probably 5000 lobbyists working against reform. Your report was deliberately deceptive, misleading and completely transparent in its aim.
  • Art: Two thousand pages in the house bill, and I will bet that half of that was written by or for some lobby and not for those in need of decent health care. Get rid of the lobbyists!

How do you feel about lobbying groups in Washington? Continue the conversation below.

Filed under: We Listen
January 5th, 2010
11:00 AM ET

Study: Quitting smoking raises diabetes risk

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="A study of 11,000 middle-aged people found that those who quit smoking gained an average of 8.4 pounds."]

By Sarah Klein,

( - People who quit smoking are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes after they kick the habit, most likely due to post-quitting weight gain, a new study has found.

Experts caution, however, that the benefits of quitting smoking - including a lower risk of heart attack and lung cancer - far outweigh the risk of developing diabetes, which can be treated with diet, exercise, and medication.

The study, which was published today in the Annals of Internal Medicine, followed nearly 11,000 middle-aged people without diabetes - 45 percent of whom were smokers - over a nine-year period. Compared to those who had never smoked, the people who quit smoking during the study had a 73 percent increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes three years after quitting.

The increased risk was even more dramatic in the years immediately after quitting. "Based on our analysis, [it's] probably 80 percent or even 90 percent," says the study's lead author, Hsin-Chieh (Jessica) Yeh, an assistant professor of internal medicine and epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Read the full story »

Filed under: Health
January 5th, 2010
09:00 AM ET

Mom & baby thought to be dead, now alive

A pregnant mom goes into labor and her heart stops beating. Doctors remove her baby by cesarean and he too appears dead. But miraculously, they both come back to life.

It's being called a Christmas Eve miracle, and a medical mystery. Our Tom Foreman has the report.

Read more: Mother and baby survive near-death experiences

Filed under: Health
January 5th, 2010
08:00 AM ET

Why not to avoid the census

Every ten years the government sets out to count every man, woman and child in America. So why should you not avoid the 2010 census? Our Christine Romans explains.

Filed under: Business
January 5th, 2010
07:00 AM ET

Obama to get update on terror plot inquiry

After eleven days in Hawaii, the president is back to work at the White House today. He'll be huddling with his homeland security team in the basement of the West Wing this afternoon.

He wants to know how a suspected terrorist managed to board a Detroit-bound plane on Christmas Eve, armed with explosives. And that's just for starters. Our White House Correspondent Suzanne Malveaux has the report.

Filed under: White House
January 5th, 2010
06:00 AM ET

Lobbying for Your Health: 'War rooms' push for legislation

Editor's Note: Lobbyists have spent hundreds of millions of dollars trying to influence the health care debate in this country. By some counts, there were six health care lobbyists for every member of Congress. In part two of the American Morning original series, "Lobbying for Your Health," Carol Costello is taking a look at a war room built to steer the debate in their favor.

By Bob Ruff and Carol Costello

What's the difference between a getting a president elected and getting a health care reform bill passed? If you're the Service Workers International Union, the SEIU, there isn't any difference.

"Health care has been our candidate," says SEIU's President Andy Stern, "and we've been trying to win the election and we're closer than ever before."

Stern has a "war room" set up in Washington to push health care reform legislation, by the president, now working its way through the Congress. Nationally, there are 400 full time employees making calls to voters, organizing field workers, dispatching lobbyists to congressional offices, and working the media.

On a frigid December morning we found SEIU members chanting outside the Brooklyn, NY field office of Democratic Congressman Michael McMahon, who voted against the House health care bill. For nearly an hour they chanted: "What do we want? Health care! When do we want it? Now!"

In Connecticut, scores of SEIU workers worked the phones urging people to challenge Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) to stop blocking health care reform. And in Pittsburgh, SEIU worker Georgeann Koehler, whose brother died without health insurance, went door-to-door urging residents to sign cards supporting health care reform. She's taking those cards "to Washington, DC and as far up on the ladder as I can get, because our congressmen have to know that people in this country need it."


Filed under: Lobbying for Your Health • Politics