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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees
Bailed-Out Banks Behaving Badly?; Interview With Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank
Aired October 26, 2009 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOHN KING, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight: Big banks, they wouldn't be in business without billions of your tax dollars. So, now that you have bailed them out, what are they doing? Spending a ton of money in Washington to weaken laws to protect you and the economy from them. We're "Keeping Them Honest."
Also tonight, "Digging Deeper" into an alleged double standard: Women paying more or getting turned down for health insurance for having a C-section, being abused, even taking drugs to prevent HIV after a possible rape. The treatment one woman got may shock you. It sure shocked her, and she knew the insurance business from the inside.
Later: affairs and addiction. A fired ESPN personality checks into rehab after an affair with a young staffer. Does he have a medical problem, or is this another case of using addiction to evade accountability? Watch and decide.
First up, health care big banks getting tens of billions of bailout dollars, your money and mine. We have told you about bailed- out banks getting massive perks. Well, tonight, it gets worse. We will show you how they're spending big bucks in Washington lobbying against regulations aimed at protecting you and preventing the next economic catastrophe.
They're saying that bailout money and lobbying money are somehow different. Critics say a dollar is a dollar is a dollar. And billions of those dollars belong you to.
Either way, Joe Johns is on the story tonight, "Keeping Them Honest" -- Joe.
JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: John, the hits just keep coming, companies you bailed out now spending your money to write new rules that might work for them, but might not work for you.
We took a look at the top five spenders, and two of the biggest spenders really stood out to us, because they still haven't paid back the bailouts. We're talking about Citigroup and Bank of America. Citigroup got $45 billion worth of bailout money -- $4.4 million is what they have spent so far this year on lobbying. Bank of America got $45 billion from the taxpayers, too, just like Citigroup. B-of-A has spent about $1.5 million on lobbying this year.
KING: So, Joe, a lot of the banks, remember, back at the beginning of the bailout, they said they didn't know how to track the money. They couldn't distinguish between bailout money and regular funds once it got in the system, that they didn't quite know how it was being spent.
What are they saying now about this lobbying?
JOHNS: Well, those banks are saying what they have always said. They say they're not using federal funds to lobby the government.
Bank of America sent us a statement, an e-mail, that said flatly -- quote -- "We do not use TARP funds for lobbying," but no answer from them -- and I did send them an e-mail back asking about it. They -- they wouldn't tell us how they know that. Talked to Citibank today. And they're claiming they know exactly where the bailout money is going and that it's not going for lobbying.
They published a whole bunch of information for the public. They even sent us a bunch of charts and graphs. But we did talk to one banking insider who doesn't work for Citibank who told us he just doesn't know how you could trace that money. At some point, you just have to figure a dollar is a dollar is a dollar, whatever pot you keep it in.
KING: And, so, are they actually lobbying to fight the reforms that the administration and others say are necessary to prevent this from happening again?
JOHNS: Well, you know, you can't really get inside the lobbying head there, but this is a business. Citibank did say they're always trying to do whatever is in their best interests, of course. They're not always trying to stop legislation.
And these banks are looking out for the shareholders. That's not always the same thing, John, as looking out for the general public, who kept these companies afloat with your tax dollars.
KING: Joe Johns "Keeping Them Honest" for us to night. Thank you, Joe.
And spearheading the legislative effort aimed at keeping the bank and Wall Street honest, and joining us now, Democratic Congressman Barney Frank. He is chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, which recently approved legislation to establish a new federal consumer financial protection agency.
Chairman Frank, thanks for joining us.
So, Citigroup, Bank of America, banks that were bailed out using taxpayers' money and have not paid that money back now spending hefty amounts of money to lobby for their interests. Should they have to pay the money back before they're lobbying? Is there -- is there something wrong here? Or is this just the way it is?
REP. BARNEY FRANK (D-MA), FINANCIAL SERVICES COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: Well, I would like to get them to pay the money back.
The one thing I want to say is this, John. All the money in the world doesn't make them effect lobbyists right now. There are effective bank lobbyists that I'm working with and feeling the impact of. They're the community banks.
You know, money can do some things, but it can't do everything. It can't erase the record of irresponsibility, poor judgment and abuse of consumers that too many of the big banks have -- have run up. And we do want to differentiate.
The local banks, the neighborhood banks, the credit unions hadn't done that. So, I'm very proud of our record. We passed a credit card bill, over the big banks' objection. And with they then began to abuse -- they said, oh, we need time to work this out. But they needed time to screw more people.
So, the committee I chaired just wrote out a bill -- I hope it will pass the House soon -- to speed up that effective date. We're going to come up with a bill -- we're going to have a bill next week to regulate their charging people overdraft fees.
They do you a big favor. They give you the right to write checks beyond what you have in your account without asking you or telling you. And then, if you do one, they charge you $50, $60, way more than the real expense.
Last week, we passed, as you noted -- and I appreciate that -- the first agency in America dedicated solely to protecting consumers in a financial area. The American Bankers Association thought that was a terrible idea. And I'm proud that they did.
KING: Well, I want to talk more about what you're proposing and what the obstacles to that are.
I want to stay on the money issue for just a minute, because people get cynical about this. So, I want to ask you about your position. You're the chairman of the s big powerful committee. And if you pick up "The Boston Globe," you would see, since January, you raised $1.2 million for your campaign, 32 percent more than you raised in the same three-quarters last year, and more than all but one of the fellow House committee chairmen.
You don't take money from the nation's biggest banks. I want to make that clear. But you do take some money from people with business before the committee. Where does Barney Frank draw the line?
FRANK: Oh, of course I do.
I'm very proud of my record as an advocate for low-income housing. And I take money from the building trades that want to build that housing and from the agencies that build low-income housing.
What the article said, John, as you know, first of all, I do not accept money, stopped accepting money -- once the TARP came, I cut off accepting any money from the banks that were TARP recipients. Secondly -- big or small, I wouldn't take anything from them -- secondly, a very high percentage of my money, as it also pointed out, comes from individuals.
Look, I happen to be kind of high-profile. I get in a lot of fights. When you get in a lot of fights, a lot of people get mad at you. A lot of people are on your side. The people on your side give you money. I probably raise a lot of people money from people on the other side who -- who give in frustration, hoping they can make me go away.
Where I take -- draw the line is this. I believe that we should have a public finance system. I very much regret that the U.S. Supreme Court has made America the only democracy in the world where we're not allowed to regulate campaign spending.
You have this, I think, foolish notion by the U.S. Supreme Court that that's inherent in a democracy. If it is, we're the only democracy in the world, because no other democracy has it. Given that, I will then, as I have to, accept money.
By the way, the money does not go primarily for my campaign. I am, because I'm the chairman of the committee, expected to give money to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and other Democrats. And I do it.
So, where people have been the direct specific recipients of funds in a program I have been in charge of, I won't accept money from them. But in terms of business before my committee, should I say no to anybody who has any housing interests, any -- any interests whatsoever in terms of the financial structure?
That's, unfortunately, not the way the system is built. But the -- I think the test is, look at the record. The committee I chair -- when the Republicans were in power from 1995 to 2006, no legislation got passed that regulated the banks or dealt with consumers, with the exception of Sarbanes-Oxley, that Mike Oxley did.
We have passed legislation in the committee I chair through the House to restrict bad subprime lending, to begin the process of controlling derivatives, to protect consumers, to limit credit card abuses.
So, I guess I would ask people to look at the record and tell me where they think there's been bad influence.
KING: All right, Chairman Barney Frank, we're to ask you to stay with us, because we will continue the conversation, new ideas to protect your money, after the break.
Also tonight, 360 M.D. Dr. Sanjay Gupta answering your flu questions. A lot of concern out there right now about where to find the H1N1 vaccine, who should be getting it, and what to do if you can't find it.
Also, the pilots of Northwest Flight 188 tell authorities why they lost touch with controllers and flew right past their destination. When you hear it, though, even if you do believe it, no guarantees you feel any safer about boarding a flight.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) KING: We're back talking about reining in Wall Street, even as banks and big financial companies spend big money lobbying Congress against it.
Lawmakers, the White House, even Republican-appointed Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke are pushing for major changes, especially concerning companies deemed -- quote -- "too big to fail," in other words, companies that you and I end up bailing out.
Back now with Congressman Barney Frank. He's the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee.
Mr. Chairman, you have this new plan to deal with these institutions deemed too big to fail. Help us understand how it works.
FRANK: Well, at several levels.
First of all, there is going to be a systemic risk council. All of the bank regulators -- each bank regulator or financial regulator, the Securities and Exchange Commission or the Comptroller of the Currency, they now each have jurisdiction over their individual institutions. But they're focused on the health or failure of that individual institution or maybe investor protection for the SEC.
No one has the job of looking to see whether there's a systemic failure, and the systemic -- or a systemic failure. That can come from one either big overextended institution, like AIG, or a pattern of bad activity, like subprime loans.
This systemic risk council will have the duty of monitoring to see if any institution or any pattern is causing a risk. If it is, they will step in well before we're faced with this kind of collapse, so that, for instance, if this had been in existence years ago, they would have said to AIG, you may not sell any more credit default swaps. You are way overleveraged. You've got to increase your capital.
And they will be empowered to order them to -- they can break it up if it's too big. They can put limits on certain activities. They can allow them to do some activities and not others. And, then, if in fact, despite that, it begins to fail, we will do what we do with banks. We are going to use the bankruptcy authority of the Constitution to put these -- this regulatory body in charge of putting these people out of their misery.
As I have said, when the right-wing started talking about death panels, they were right for the wrong reason. We're going to have death panels. But they're going to have death panels that are going to put to death these institutions before they can cause us problems, not old people.
KING: So, let me ask you. How do you answer the billionaire George Soros, who writes in "The Financial Times" yesterday that, even if you have good ideas, this is the wrong time, that the business doesn't have its footing yet, the financial sector is still in a state of flux, and you need to wait? FRANK: Because you don't wait until it's too late. I very much admire George Soros, but we're not saying that people can't go and do activity.
Apparently, implicit in what -- the quote you just gave me -- I haven't read the whole article -- is, well, it's either all or nothing. Either you have to let them be irresponsible or you choke them off.
I think they're capable of doing responsible things. And, by the way, people have said to me, well, you know, you may be cutting back on some of this activity. Yes, I think we should. Not all of that activity was useful. Look, the financial sector is supposed to be the means, not the end.
The end is the production of goods and services. The financial sector has also been -- has always been called the intermediary. They gather up money from large numbers of people in relatively small amounts, bundle it, and make it available to people doing productive uses.
Over the last 20 years, with computerization and other factors, the end became -- the means became the end. They were gathering up that money not to help produce and finance productive activity, but to swap back and forth.
If they do less trading, if they -- you know, oh, Goldman Sachs made a lot of money trading bonds, who cares, other than the people making money from Goldman Sachs? The purpose of bonds is to raise money, so that people can then do productive activity or for municipalities to build roads.
I don't see any great value in Goldman Sachs and somebody else swapping them back and forth. And if they decide not to do it, we won't miss them.
KING: Let me ask you a quick health care question.
KING: The Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, unveiled a proposal today that has a public option, but states could opt out of that government insurance plan designed to compete with competitors.
On the House side, would that sell?
FRANK: It would...
KING: Or do you believe and other progressive believe, no way, not enough?
FRANK: Look, we know the Constitution. And we know that, unfortunately, there's been a de facto amendment to the Constitution, so you need 60 votes to pass anything. That's a terrible fact, but it's a fact. If that was the -- the best you could do, I could go for that, for this reason. I think the public option will be popular. I think having an option where you can go to a public entity, and not be at the mercy of the private insurance companies, will work.
So, I think what will happen is this. In those states -- and there will be many states which will have a public option, and it will thrive. And I think that will put a very useful attractive force. And so people in other states I think are much less likely to pull out.
KING: Chairman Barney Frank, thank you for your thoughts.
FRANK: Thank you, John.
KING: Take care, sir.
And up next -- next: separating flu fears from flu facts, with the H1N1 vaccine in short supply. Dr. Sanjay Gupta is here with answers you need to keep your family safe, even if you can't get them vaccinated for a while.
Also tonight, text 360. Send us your questions and thoughts to AC360 or 22360 on the Steve Phillips affair. He's the ESPN anchor who slept with a staffer, and they both got fired. Now he's in rehab to deal with -- quote -- "personal issues." Does he need help, or is he, as one commentator said, just a jerk? Maybe the better question is, is there a medical excuse for everything?
The debate and your questions -- when 360 continues.
Remember, text your thoughts to 22360. Standard rates do apply.
KING: Over the weekend, President Obama declared swine flu a national emergency. According to the latest government estimates, the H1N1 virus has killed more than 1,000 people in the United States since April. And, right now, there isn't enough vaccine for everyone who needs or wants it.
The shortage has led to long lines at clinics across the country and frustration for those who are still waiting. Pregnant women and young children are at high risk. So, if you can't get the vaccine, what you are supposed to do and how worried should you be?
Chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta joins us, along with Erica Hill.
So, Sanjay, we get this emergency declaration over the weekend. Many people are asking on the 360 blog: Is this really an emergency? And what is the effect of this?
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, this is interesting.
And I think, when most people read this, they got a little bit more concerned about this. But it's important to remind people that, when you're talking about H1N1 sort of as a whole, this doesn't mean it's become any more serious in terms of the severity of symptoms, just that they're expecting it to become more widespread than I think some of the initial estimates.
So, that is sort of the big message, not more severe, but more widespread. When you have a state of emergency in a medical sense like this, John, it is really more of a procedural thing.
A couple of examples. Let's say you have an emergency room that typically can take about a dozen patients, but because of the widespread nature of H1N1, you have 50 or 60 patients come to the E.R. at the same. This gives them the opportunity and the capability to set up sort of makeshift E.R.s. Maybe if they need to set up in a parking lot, another part of the hospital, this gives them that authority to do so.
Also, a thing that came up during Hurricane Katrina -- John, I remember this very well -- doctors from other states that may need to go to a particular state that is being hit hard, often you have to go through licensing procedures state to state. This sort of streamlines that process as well, so they can get resources into a state that needs it more quickly -- John.
ERICA HILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Sanjay, it's Erica.
HILL: In terms of those resources -- resources, the message about who's most at risk, specifically, pregnant women and young children, I feel like it's been repeated ad nauseam. So, does this declaration mean that it will be any easier to get the vaccine? Because, even if you know you're at risk, if you can't get the vaccine, it doesn't do you any good.
GUPTA: All I can say -- and, you know, I have asked the same question Erica -- is that -- because I have young children, so, selfishly, to some extent -- but, you know, that the pregnant women and young children are sort of at the front of the line.
But it is not nearly as well-equipped a line as people thought it should be. This has been moving much more slowly than I think anyone really thought. And I have been hearing the frustration now when I talk to my contacts at the CDC as well about that very point.
KING: Dr. Sanjay Gupta, thanks.
GUPTA: Thanks, guys.
KING: Go to the health page at the new CNN.com for extensive information about H1N1, from the vaccine, to how to tell if you may have the virus. You will also find a map that tracks the spread of the H1N1 state by state.
Tonight, new information from two Northwest Airlines pilots who were out of touch with air traffic controllers for more than an hour, what they told investigators they were doing all that time.
First, though, some other important stories.
Erica Hill joins us with a 360 news and business bulletin -- Erica.
HILL: John, in Afghanistan, 14 Americans dead today in two separate helicopter crashes. Three federal drug agents were among those killed, making this the deadly single day for Americans in Afghanistan in more than four years.
In Baghdad, the death toll from twin bombings just minutes apart yesterday near the Green Zone now stands at, at least 160, and among those victims, at least 30 Iraqi children who were riding in a bus.
An autopsy found a former -- former associate of Bernard Madoff drowned after having a heart attack. Jeffrey Picower was accused of making more than $7 billion off of Madoff's Ponzi schemes and is targeted in a lawsuit by Madoff investors. The 67-year-old was found yesterday at the bottom of his pool at his Florida mansion.
And if you bought a Baby Einstein video and your baby didn't end up a prodigy, well, you can now get your money back -- the Walt Disney Company offering cash refunds on Baby Einstein DVDs bought between June 5 2004 and September 4 of this year, saying they will also exchange the books for a Baby Einstein book or music C.D. The videos have been targeted by complaints and even a threatened lawsuit over the company's early claims that the products were educational.
My son never had any, but he is super-smart.
KING: Nah, my kids were not that young in that time frame.
KING: But, you know, the phrase...
HILL: They turned out all right, though, didn't they?
KING: Too many lawyers is the phrase that comes to mind.
KING: Still ahead on 360: First comes the sex scandal. Then comes rehab. We have seen it before, and we're seeing it again with former ESPN baseball analyst Steve Phillips. We're taking your questions. Text them to AC360, or 22360. Later: women and health insurance, evidence that they're getting shortchanged because of their gender, and one eye-opening story of a woman who thought she had been raped, took anti-HIV medicine, and then was turned down for insurance because of it.
HILL: He was fired for having an affair with a 22-year-old production assistant. And, tonight, former ESPN baseball analyst Steve Phillips wants you to know he needs help. Phillips has checked himself into a treatment facility to -- quote -- "address personal issues."
In a statement, a representative for Phillips said, whatever did he wrong, it wasn't under his control.
Maybe not, but the office relationship has also cost the production assistant her job. She was let go by the network. But what about Phillips or any other celebrity seeking treatment? Are their trips to rehab due to real addiction or just an excuse to behave badly?
Lori Brown says it is a way for the rich and immoral to avoid the blame Brown, an associate professor of sociology at Meredith College, joins us now. Also with us, addiction specialist Dr. Reef Karim.
Lori, let's begin with you.
You have stated that behaving badly is just that, behaving badly. Do you believe that is the case with Mr. Phillips?
LORI BROWN, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF SOCIOLOGY, MEREDITH COLLEGE: Well, I don't know his situation exactly, but it -- this happens quite a bit. And it's pretty unlikely that this is probably an ongoing addiction. I would think by now that there would have been more evidence of it.
KING: And, so, you think this is just an excuse?
BROWN: Yes. I think -- I think we're seeing this a lot in the press with all kinds of media stars. Every time something happens, there's rehab. Say something inappropriate, you do something you shouldn't, and, you know, we medicalize these situations, and there's always some kind of treatment for everything.
KING: So, Dr. Reef, come in on that point. I mean, celebrities do face the scrutiny. And there are some who say, I'm getting help for my thing.
But let's deal with Steve Phillips first. He issued a statement saying he's getting rehabilitation for personal issues. We don't quite know exactly what that is.
DR. REEF KARIM, ADDICTION SPECIALIST: No, we don't.
And one of the big questions here is, when is someone a womanizer, and when is someone a sex addict? And I don't think we should trivialize sex addiction. I mean, I get asked almost every day in my practice, hey, Doc, am I a sex addict? And most of the time, I say, no, you're just a jerk. You're just a guy who is acting out.
The reality is, sex addiction affects about 3 percent to 6 percent of the population. It tends to be more in men than women. And there's a much, much bigger surge in sex addiction because of the Internet.
The reality of sex addiction -- it is also called compulsive sexual behavior or hypersexual disorder -- is that there is an underlying mental health issue. And that underlying issue is untreated, so that the person acts out sexually.
It's not that common. And I agree with your other -- your other guest, in that, in the celebrity world, in the Hollywood world -- and I have been the medical director of a couple of these rehabs -- it's very easy to say, hey, this guy is not really acting that well, so, because of that, let's do a little image shift or an image change, and let's put them into rehab and say it's for personal issues.
But, on the flip side of it, if he does have a problem, it's good to at least get assessed in a proper clinical facility.
KING: Well, let's take our text 360 question here. It's from Vanessa in Texas. She wants to, is there scientific proof of sex addiction?
Dr. Reef, you take that one.
KARIM: Great, great question.
Yes, I did a research study just recently at UCLA where we looked at executive function changes, which are brain changes in regards to judgment, to insight, and to something we call cognitive flexibility, which is being able to understand and shift from emotion to emotion, and being able to regulate your emotions.
And it was definitively altered in those people that met full criteria for sex addiction. So, yes, sex addiction still is not fully in the DSM-IV, which is, you know, the clinical manual for psychiatry, but it is something that causes definitive brain changes.
KING: So, Lori, help us. You're clearly skeptical in the celebrity case, including this one, but are there clear signs that someone is suffering from sex addiction?
BROWN: Oh, yes, I -- I don't have any doubt about that. And I certainly respect what -- what he -- what your doctor -- the other doctor does.
I don't think there's any doubt there is sex addiction, and it's something very serious. I just -- it's a problem in the press when celebrities do this and sort of trivialize, and it becomes a joke, and it's as though anybody is a sex addict. And that's simply not the case. Real sex addicts are -- are -- are really suffering. And, so, for someone who has enough money to be able to pay to try to avoid the public humiliation of what he's done is, I think, a different situation.
KING: And so Lori, to you first and then to Dr. Reef, in that case, if you believe a celebrity is abusing, if you will, the definition, them does that hurt -- hurt someone who actually needs the help? Do people think, "Oh, this just doesn't exist"?
BROWN: Well, I would certainly say it does, yes. Absolutely. And it makes, I think, everybody suspicious of the diagnosis of sex addiction when there really are sex addicts. So, you know, I'm sure the doctor would agree with that.
KAREEM: I would absolutely agree with that. We're on the same page. Because there needs to be a lot more research, a lot more work done in this field to help those people that are truly, truly suffering. They go through withdrawal symptoms. They have a major, major hard time. And if we trivialize it based on people that may not have the disease, it only affects it in a negative way.
KING: Dr. Reef Kareem and Lori Brown, thank you both so much tonight.
KAREEM: Thank you.
KING: Let us know what you think: is rehab an excuse to avoid responsibility? Join the live chat happening right now at AC360.com.
Next, health care and the gender gap. Why do women pay more for their coverage, and why was one woman denied health care after she believed she was raped? Her outrage, ahead.
And mid-air mystery. what happened for more than an hour when two pilots avoided calls from air traffic control and missed their destination and had to make a big U-Turn in their course? We'll get their excuse when 360 continues.
KING: The health-care debate took a new turn today when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said the bill he's sending to the floor will include a government-run public plan that will allow states to opt out.
Senator Olympia Snowe, the one Republican who voted for the Senate Finance Committee's health-care proposal, said she's deeply disappointed.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. OLYMPIA SNOWE (R), MAINE: It's regrettable, because I certainly have worked in good faith all of these months on a bipartisan basis and, as you know, have been standing alone at this point as a Republican in order to do so because I believe in good public policy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Senator Snowe supports a so-called trigger to force states to offer a public plan only if other reforms don't work. Supporters want a public plan to compete against private insurers, which often refuse coverage for pre-existing conditions and cancel coverage when people get sick.
The woman you're about to meet lost her coverage after she was raped. We first saw Christina Turner's story on Huffington Post. And "Keeping Them Honest," wanted to hear more. Anderson talked to her recently.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Christina, you were sexually assaulted in 2002, and then you lost your health insurance. What happened?
CHRISTINA TURNER, DENIED HEALTH INSURANCE: Well, basically, I was dropped by the company after I had submitted a month's worth of anti-HIV medication, because I was drug raped. And went -- I went to the doctor. She decided, because there was no way to tell if my attacker wore a condom, she wanted to put me on anti-HIV medication.
Once I submitted my reimbursement for that, because it was $1,000 a month, and I submitted it for reimbursement, next thing I know, my insurance drops me.
COOPER: It's standard practice, in the event of a rape, where it's not known whether the attacker used a condom or not, to go on anti-HIV medication for a month in order to protect yourself from possibly getting HIV.
TURNER: Absolutely. Absolutely.
COOPER: So you did that. You did what the doctor said. And then you suddenly get dropped. What reason did the insurance company give for dropping your coverage?
TURNER: Well, what they told me was that they did not receive payment, which was sent. It was never -- the payment was never cashed. And that was the last thing on my mind, was trying to balance a checkbook when I was in therapy trying to deal with my situation. I mean, I didn't even leave my house for three months. I was in therapy.
Once they found out I was in therapy and on medication, I had to call them and explain that I did not have AIDS, I was on preventative HIV medication, so I wouldn't get it. And they said there's no way we can reinstate your coverage, because I'm in therapy, on medication and I would need to go two or three years being HIV tested for free -- I mean, free HIV testing, which I don't have, and prove to them.
COOPER: And you weren't HIV-positive. Thank goodness... TURNER: Thank God.
COOPER: ... you did not contract the virus.
TURNER: That's correct.
COOPER: Yet still, you could not get insurance after that.
TURNER: After -- I'm a health insurance agent, OK? And I know how it works.
COOPER: Wait a minute, you're a health insurance agent?
TURNER: Yes, I am. I've been in the industry 27 years. And I've been an agent for 12 years. And I'm...
COOPER: What is that like, to -- I mean, to know this industry and to work in this industry and then all of a sudden to find that you can't get insurance?
TURNER: It felt -- I was traumatized all over again. That's how I felt.
So what I did, being in the insurance field, is I called the underwriters and said, "I have a hypothetical question. I have a woman that was raped. She was on AIDS medication only for a month. She has -- her first test has been negative. What can we do?"
They said, depending on the company I talked to, they said, "You cannot get coverage. This person is not eligible for coverage until she goes two to three years of HIV-free testing and until she's out of counseling for two to three years and on no medication."
So I was being condemned for doing the right thing for my sanity and to be able to get me back out in the field, because a health insurance agent, I'm meeting strangers every day. I didn't leave my house for three months. I needed that therapy to be able to work and make my commission. I'm a straight commission, get out there and do my job.
COOPER: And just for accuracy's sake here, you're healthy now and do you have coverage because you were -- because you got married?
TURNER: Exactly. And I was able to get under a group plan that had guaranteed issue at an open enrollment period. That's exactly right.
COOPER: Christina, I appreciate you coming on to tell your story. Thank you.
TURNER: Thank you so much for your time, Anderson.
KING: And you can watch an extended version of Anderson's interview with Christina Turner at the newly redesigned CNN.com. You'll hear Christina talk about feeling condemned for doing the right thing to take care of her health.
"Digging deeper" now with 360 M.S. Sanjay Gupta. Also, Marcia Greenberger with the founder of the National Women's Law Center, and our senior political correspondent, Candy Crowley. What about Christina Turner story we're just told? Is that unusual? Is she unique, or is that sadly common practice?
MARCIA GREENBERGER, FOUNDER, NATIONAL WOMEN'S LAW CENTER: I wish she were unusual. What's probably the most unusual about her is that she really knew the insurance industry and she took whatever steps she could to protect herself.
We found that there are a number of states still that do not prohibit insurance companies from treating domestic violence as a pre- existing condition. And even those that do will take the actual treatment that a domestic violence or a rape victim in the case of miss Turner, the essential treatment as evidence of a pre-existing condition, and then they're out of luck for getting insurance.
KING: Sanjay, help us understand this. Someone who practices medicine, how much do women stand to lose? Or maybe the better question is what do they need to gain in the proposed reforms?
Sanjay, help us understand this. Someone who practices medicine, how much do women stand to lose? Or maybe the better question is what do they need to gain in the proposed reforms?
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, they stand to lose a lot without some of this reform. Certainly because, first of all, women are the primary health-care drivers of families. I know that as a doctor, talking to women that sort of drive the health care overall for the entire family.
Now, sort of bouncing off what Marcia said as well, when you talk about pre-existing conditions, domestic balance in this case but also C-sections, John, can be considered a pre-existing condition. Pregnancy can be considered a pre-existing condition in many states, as well.
So this whole idea of not discriminating based on that is a big deal.
Also, women just pay more for health-care insurance. There's been a lot of studies that looked at this now. Gender rating, you know, you have a woman who's 25 years old, for example, probably pays up to 50 percent more than a 25-year-old man, for example.
And obstetric care isn't always part of the core insurance. So women don't read those insurance policies carefully. They may think, "Look, my pregnancy is covered" but then get a surprise when they actually get pregnant, John.
KING: We're back with our panel after the break, talking health benefits and the gender gap.
Also tonight, lost and found. A young woman's amnesia and the amazing efforts to bring her memory back.
Then on a much lighter note -- much lighter note -- Levi Johnston bearing it all, and I mean all for "Playgirl." If you care -- not sure I do -- we've got new details on his nude pictorial.
KING: We're talking about women in the health-care system and specifically, the case of Christina Turner, who was slipped a date rape drug, then worried she might have been raped, went on a brief course of anti-HIV drugs. That seemingly sensible choice made her nearly uninsurable when it comes to health coverage.
But that's not the only way women lose out. Back now with Marcia Greenberg of the Women's National Law Center; also, Dr. Sanjay Gupta; and our Candy Crowley.
Candy, let's take a closer look at the politics of health-care reform. According to a recent Gallup poll, 40 percent of women favor passing significant health-care reform, while 44 percent of men are opposed to it. In the politics, are the concerns of women being addressed as the Democrats push their various proposals?
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There certainly has been a push by this White House to put this issue out in the forefront. Michelle Obama did a video message last week in which she addressed the issue of health-care reform, specifically the women's issues that the two previous people have talked about. So the White House has done a pretty good job of getting these particular issues out there.
Now what they have to face, because we're a long time between now and whether these things will be corrected in the health-care reform, is that they're also costly. And as you're watching, I think it's a big scramble, John, as you know, is going to be, well, how much does it cost and where can we cut costs? So this is a lobby that has to stay fairly vocal, as all the lobbies due, because they're going to be looking around for places to go.
You've already seen one very famous YouTube exchange with Senator Kyl, a Republican, talking to, I believe, Senator Stabineaux of Michigan. And Kyl objected to having all policies include maternity leave, saying, "I didn't need that."
And she sort of shot back and said, "I bet your mother did." So you are already seeing that there are -- there is going to be some pushback on this. And you will see the lobbyists for females out there, and you will see the Obama administration understanding the politics of that very much in the forefront.
KING: And Sanjay, help me again from a care perspective. If the private insurer can legally reject a pregnant woman on the grounds that their pregnancy is the result of a pre-existing condition. If a pregnant woman doesn't have access, prenatal care, other care, what are the health risks that get caught up in this insurance debate?
GUPTA: Well, you know, first of all, you've got to remember that for a lot of women, the time they get pregnant is the time they really start accessing the health-care system overall. So if they're not covered, then obviously, they're not -- they won't be able to access it, as well.
But short of that, John, you know, a woman who's not getting adequate prenatal care, their baby is three times more likely to be born at low birth weight, which can be a significant problem not only at the time of birth but also later on, costing lots of money, incidentally, to Candy's point.
Also, a woman who does not have adequate prenatal care, they themselves are much more likely to develop maternal complications. Also, just diet, medications, things that often get access at that point when a woman becomes pregnant, starts talking to a doctor on a regular basis, a lot those things become forgone. And as a result, they're not getting the same basic care.
KING: Marcia, help me understand this. Your organization watches the legislation and says some of the proposals are better than others. All might make gains, but some are better than others.
What about the decision by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to say that he will bring to the floor a bill that has an opt out. It would have a public option, but if states don't want to have that public option, they can opt out? I know you want the public option, because it would go on the record saying this is covered, this is covered, and this is covered, which therefore would pressure the private market. Do you like Senator Reid's proposal or not?
GREENBERGER: Well, I have to say, we do support the strongest public option that's possible to get. And women who earn less than men to start with. And then, if they have to be in the market, especially where they need the public option, they -- right now as has been discussed, they've been charged so much more, sometimes as much as 85 percent more than a man.
Women smokers at age 40, the National Women's Law study found, could be charged more than male smokers. So a strong public option at a minimum...
KING: So will you fight, Senator Reid? Will you fight for the opt out Senator Reid wants?
GREENBERGER: Well, we certainly think the best that we can get is the best that we -- we want. And so we want to support at least the opt out. And if it could be stronger than that, all the better for women in this country and for families, as well.
KING: And Candy, one of the other criticisms on the Senate side has been of the finance committee bill, Senator Baucus' bill. Some say it discourages employers from hiring single parents. Is that true?
CROWLEY: Well, that's certainly how the critics are looking at it. One of the things that -- that's why they are still looking at employer penalties as one of the reasons why they want this public option. So there is a choice for people.
So whether it's true, so many things here, John, there are so many people that are looking at this saying is it going to work? It's one of those things where people have sort of made up their minds, by and large, at least in the public minds, that they're either for it or against it. And the next really big poll is going to be when some of this starts to kick in, has it helped?
Because there are a lot of people out there saying here's going to be the unintended consequences. That's certainly one that people are warning about.
KING: And still a long way to go in this debate. Candy Crowley, Marcia Greenberger, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, thank you very much.
GUPTA: Thanks, John.
KING: The Tea Party Express launched a round of protests yesterday in San Diego, the first in a 38-city tour of protests over government taxes and spending. In the next hour, we'll hear from the group's vice chairman, Mark Williams.
And tomorrow, a 360 investigation. A tsunami strikes American Samoa. Dozens are killed. Yet, millions were sent from Washington to build a warning system. So what happened?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nobody sent out a warning?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No warning at all. No warning at all.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's why people die.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's why people die.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Uncovering allegations of corruption, the 360 investigation tomorrow.
Next, lost without a clue. How did an 18-year-old girl end up in New York City with no recollection of who she was? And how did authorities unravel the mystery?
And mid-air mystery. The pilots of that Northwest plane that lost communication for over an hour. They're speaking out. What they say they were doing as 360 continues.
KING: Up close tonight, imagine waking up not knowing who you are. That's the reality for one young woman who surfaced in New York two weeks ago. She says she has no memory. Authorities believe her. And with their help, they gave her identity back.
Erica Hill joins me now.
What you have learned?
ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: I've learned that there are still a lot of questions, to be honest. But we do have some answers tonight. And that's the good news, John. Her identity is no longer a mystery. But plenty about 18-year-old Casey Elise Peterson is.
Identified with the help of a CNN viewer, we now know the teen who turned up outside a New York City shelter on October 9 somehow made her way here from Washington state. Her father reported her missing on October 2, two days after she was last seen.
And while authorities say they were able to track her bank activity, they tell me they didn't track her down because the information indicated she was alive and getting by, and they couldn't ignore the fact, John, that she's an adult. She's 18 and, really, she can leave of her own free will whenever she'd like.
KING: But it's not the first time she was found apparently suffering from some form of amnesia. Right?
HILL: It's not. And that's raised some questions. And this is something that her father apparently brought up when he reported her missing, telling the sheriff's department there had been previous issues involving amnesia like behavior.
Now, the most recent, the father said, was in May when Casey was found unconscious next to a stream. She was hospitalized briefly. When she woke up she had no recollection of who she was or how she ended up by that stream.
And in another incident, Casey suffered what her father referred to as a mental breakdown and was found unconscious on the floor of her bedroom, John.
KING: Do we have any indication of what may have caused the episodes?
HILL: That, I think, is the big question right now. We can tell that you police in New York have said they don't see any indication that this was being faked. They believe that this is real. She really didn't know who she was.
Investigators in Washington haven't found any report of physical or sexual abuse. Dad did tell them he felt he put undue pressure on his children, and that includes Casey, which apparently led to some tension and the decision for her to leave home and move across the state to stay with a family friend. That happened in June.
There has been some talk about whether she may suffer from disassociative identity disorder, which used to be known as multiple personality disorder. It can be caused by trauma.
We were told on Saturday her father was making his way to New York to bring Casey home. The New York City agencies handling this case, though, would not confirm that this afternoon, as to whether or not she's on her way home. Nor would they say, John, what her reaction has been, if any, to being told that they had basically figured out who she was.
KING: Fascinating. Fascinating. And still, a lot of questions to be answered. At least she knows who she is, and she's with her family.
A lot more happening tonight. Erica has got that, too, "360 Bulletin."
HILL: Get you caught up on a few other stories.
The two Northwest airlines pilots who overshot Minneapolis last week by 150 miles tell investigators it happened because they had their lap tops out and they lost track of time. They say they were looking over flight crew schedule changes resulting from the merger of Northwest and Delta.
Using laptops on the flight deck is a firing offense. In addition, the crew could face FAA action to yank their licenses.
A 360 follow, jury selection under way now in Texas for the first criminal chase linked to the raid on a polygamist ranch in Eldorado last year. Raymond Jessup is accused of sexual assault on a child due to his alleged marriage to an underaged girl.
At least one in five U.S. children betweens the ages of 1 and 11 don't get enough vitamin D, and that puts them at risk for a variety of health problems, including weak bones. Those findings are actually from some new analysis of five years of government numbers. The second look was funded by the National Institutes for Health, published today in the journal "Pediatrics."
Researchers say children can get vitamin D from supplements. Also, eating fish and drinking milk and maybe getting outside a little bit more. They can get it from sunlight.
And this is John King's favorite story of the night. Mine, too. And, yes, I'm being facetious on both counts.
We're about to see more of Levi Johnston. According to reports, Levi's manager says he is 90 percent sure his client will show off full frontal nudity in his "Playgirl" debut next month. And maybe if we're lucky, John, this will be the last time we have to talk about it. I'm hoping. My fingers are crossed.
KING: I'm 100 percent sure I don't care.
HILL: I'm right there with you.
KING: All right, then.
As you know, we finish every night with "The Shot." Wait, this is for you.
HILL: It is. Would like me to tell you about it.
HILL: No? You want to know this one, trust me.
HILL: A creepy cloud formation. Because it's almost Halloween, right? Here it is. This clip from LifeLeak.com. It was filmed over the skies of Romania. It kind of looks like a flying saucer if you look at it long enough. It certainly got the attention of the folks in the car who were videotaping it.
HILL: How about that? And not the only one that we found. We have another one on LiveLeak.com. I think this one -- there you go -- that was a little bit more clear. I think that's the one that hovered over Moscow. I don't know what it is about that region, Eastern Europe and...
KING: I thought balloon boy was too young to get a passport.
HILL: There is nothing that balloon boy can't do, John.
KING: Apparently not. Apparently not.
And you know, you go to the Web site, AC360.com, and you can see them all, the best "Shots" we have.
Coming up right here in the next hour, remember the tea parties? The protesters are back. And you'll see why. They're taking their grievances back across country on the road.