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"RomneyCare" Vs. "ObamaCare"; Knocked Off His Feet; Human Lie Detector

Aired January 14, 2012 - 07:30   ET


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, HOST: Good morning. I'm Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

And here is what we have in store this morning:


GUPTA (voice-over): RomneyCare versus ObamaCare. What's the difference?

A former Heisman trophy winner and pro-quarterback is struck by a rare, paralyzing disease.

And the human lie detector. This man says it's impossible to trick him.


GUPTA: But, first, as you probably know by now, I have reported a lot on concussions in football, particularly in the NFL.

But recently, I turn my attention to high school players and what concussions can do to their young brains. During my investigation, I met a family who lost their son playing this game that he loved. And they made the remarkable decision to donate his brain.

And what scientists are learning from his brain is stunning.


GUPTA (voice-over): Number 44, senior Nathan Stiles is a Spring Hill Broncos star running back.

RON STILES, NATHAN'S FATHER: If you watch him run, he had a flow about him that was just beautiful. I mean, it looked so graceful.

GUPTA: Nathan is also a starter on the varsity basketball team, a singer.

ANNOUNCER: The 2010 homecoming king is -- Nathan Stiles.


GUPTA: The Broncos lost that game. And the next day, Nathan had headaches. No big deal until five days later when his mom Connie received a phone call.

CONNIE STILES, NATHAN'S MOTHER: And I got a call that Wednesday, that following Wednesday from the trainer at school saying Nathan's telling me he's still having headaches. You need to go take him to the emergency room.

So I did, had a CAT scan. Nothing.

GUPTA: The doctor kept Nathan out of play for three weeks.

When he's ready to return, his mom was worried.

C. STILES: I remember him looking at me and he goes, "Mom, are you OK with this?" and I'm, like -- now with him going back to football, I'm like, "No, but it's his choice."

Nathan, you want to play? "Yes, I'm all right. Yes. I've only got, you know, two games left."

GUPTA: But in last game of the season, right after halftime, Nathan went down.

C. STILES: He collapsed on the sideline. And the coaches were telling me to, you know, try to get -- wake him up. Try to wake him up. Then I heard him say, "He's seizuring," and then that was it.

They took him in the ambulance. We waited for Life Flight. And everything went bad from there -- from bad to worse.

GUPTA: After hours of surgery, doctors stopped the bleeding in Nathan's brain. By then, his lungs and heart were too weak to keep him alive. Nathan died. The cause: second-impact syndrome, a condition that occurs when a player is hit again too soon after a concussion. It primarily impacts younger athletes.

CHRIS NOWINSKI, CENTER FOR THE STUDY OF TRAUMATIC ENCEPHALOPATHY: I called hundreds of families within 48 hours of their loved ones dying. And it's never easy.

GUPTA: Chris Nowinski is co-director of V.A. CSTE brain bank. It's a joint project between the Veterans Administration and Boston University.

To better understand concussion, they are looking inside the brain.

After reading about Nathan's death, he called the Stiles.

R. STILES: Deep down, I felt like it was the right thing to do.

GUPTA: And so, Nathan's doctor sent his brain to Boston to be examined by Dr. Ann McKee. She's examined nearly a hundred athletes' brains. And in a frightening number of cases, she's found unnatural protein deposits. Those are the same types of protein found in Alzheimer's patients.

(on camera): What we're seeing here is, is this definitely caused by blows to the head?

DR. ANN MCKEE, CENTER FOR THE STUDY OF TRAUMATIC ENCEPHALOPATHY: It's never been seen in any reported case except in the case of repeated blows to the head. The youngest case to date is a 17-year-old.

GUPTA: The brain of Nathan Stiles.

MCKEE: Which is Nathan Stiles, right.




MCKEE: Hi. Ann McKee. How do you do?

GUPTA (voice-over): This is the Stiles' visit to the brain bank.

MCKEE: What we've learned in the last three years is that it's a progressive disease. And then as the individual ages, if they are susceptible to this disease, it's really becomes a widespread disease affecting large regions of the brain.

C. STILES: So, all of this was because of a concussion?

MCKEE: Probably more than one concussion. Probably some concussive hits, too.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No one believed there was a problem until we're able to show --

C. STILES: Until it was too late. For Nathan, yes.

GUPTA: The Stiles met with me afterwards.

(on camera): What was that like, to sit there and talk to Dr. McKee?

C. STILES: You know what? It's my son. To see the pictures of his brain, that's --

GUPTA: It's a lot.

C. STILES: Yes, it's a lot. Something you don't wish on your worst enemy.

R. STILES: I think the good thing is you can see every effort is being made to learn from it. I think Nathan is helping to come up with a plan to maybe what to do with concussions.


GUPTA: You can see more about this in the documentary I put together. It's about a teen in North Carolina trying to turn tragedy into triumph. The question keeps coming up: can you play a safer game and still win? It's called "Big Hits, Broken Dreams," Sunday, January 29th, right here on CNN.


GUPTA: Football from another angle. Danny Wuerffel, remember him, he was a rifle arm quarterback who won the Heisman Trophy, led the Florida Gators to that national championship back in 1996. Later, after six years in the NFL, he started a ministry.

But last year, he was hit by a rare disorder that literally knocked him off his feet.


GUPTA (voice-over): For Danny Wuerffel, 1996 was a great year. He won the Heisman Trophy and led his team to the championship.

Deeply religious, Wuerffel, took his job as a role model seriously.

DANNY WUERFFEL, FORMER NFL PLAYER: When I was drafted to play with the Saints in '97, I was looking for something in the city to be a part of. I didn't know what it was. That's when I got introduced to Desire Street.

GUPTA: Desire Street Ministries was working in the poorest areas of New Orleans. Wuerffel volunteered part time for seven years, before he realized this -- not the NFL was his true calling.

WUERFFEL: I drove down my street. I had to turn right to keep practicing football and left to go to Desire Street. I just got tired of turning right.

GUPTA: But leaving the money and fame of pro-football wouldn't prove to be the biggest obstacle in Wuerffel's future. Early in 2011, his body took a hit way harder than any from a line backer.

WUERFFEL: I got out of bed, and when I landed on my feet, I almost fell over. We were staying in the inner city in Montgomery working with a family there and staying there. And so, we went to see their family doctor on a Thursday. The next morning, someone knocks on my door at 5:00 a.m. It's this doctor. He said I think you have Guillain-Barre.

GUPTA: Guillain-Barre syndrome is a rare neuro degenerative disorder like multiple sclerosis. It can lead to paralysis. It can be life- threatening.

But with rapid treatment and tedious rehab, patients often get better and they do walk again. At his worst, Wuerffel says he couldn't stand, couldn't walk. His infamous touchdown throwing arm was too weak to open a bottle of water.

WUERFFEL: For a guy used to having gear five, six and seven if you need it, to try to function with a couple gears has been difficult.

GUPTA: Now, several months after his diagnosis, Wuerffel has recovered to the point where he can walk and use his arms. But he's still incredibly fatigued. Wuerffel who now runs Desire Street Ministries says the whole ordeal was a blessing in disguise.

WUERFFEL: I really needed to slow down to re-prioritize and think, I hope, that I'm a better husband and father.


GUPTA: So good to see Danny back up on his feet. And it sounds like there's lessons in there I think for all of us.

Mitt Romney says the first thing he'd do if elected president is get rid of what he calls ObamaCare. But his critics say, look, it's the same as RomneyCare. Which it is? We'll have that right after the break.


GUPTA: And we're back with SGMD.

You know, it's hard to believe it's been two years now since a massive earthquake that rocked Haiti. I saw it firsthand. It claimed 315,000 lives, injuring 300,000 more people.

And we'll tell you, the recovery process has been slow. But we are seeing positive changes. Roughly 500,000 people, a large number remain in tent cities. But that's down from 1.5 million two years ago. Aid organizations on the ground are providing 1.1 million children with a daily midday meal.

There's so much that still needs to be done. I mean, the streets are still filled with enough debris to fill five football stadiums. And much of the housing people are in now is only semi-permanent.

We are dedicated to this. We'll continue to monitor the progress. And make sure your donations are used to rebuild and help the people of Haiti.

The health care overhaul that Mitt Romney led in Massachusetts probably got more attention than anything else he did as governor. But now as he runs for president, it gets a mixed reaction.

Depending on who you asked -- RomneyCare is either a clone of the national health care plan or the complete opposite. So, which is it?


MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: ObamaCare, we'll get rid of it.

It's bad law, it's bad medicine.

I'll repeal ObamaCare.

GUPTA (voice-over): But critics say that plan was, in fact, modeled off Mitt Romney himself 2006 health care plan in Massachusetts.

One economist who helped design the so-called RomneyCare and also served as an adviser for ObamaCare is MIT's Jonathan Gruber.

PROF. JONATHAN GRUBER, MIT: At their core, they're really the same plan. Basically, the basic goal of the Massachusetts plan was to build on what worked with our health insurance system and to fill in the cracks, to cover the uninsured and fix the broken market for individual insurance purchase.

GUPTA: Both laws do share the same core foundation. Most employers are required to provide coverage. Government programs like Medicaid expanded to cover more people. And both plans require individuals to have insurance. It's an individual mandate.

But Romney hates that comparison.

(on camera): Mandate is a seven-letter word, but many people regard it as a four-letter word. This mandate -- I mean, should mandates be a part of reforming health care?

ROMNEY: Well, you're not going to put people in jail for not having insurance. Of course, that's --

GUPTA: But you could penalize them.

ROMNEY: No one is talking about that. But there are various ways to encourage people to get insurance. One is to give everybody a credit, a tax credit that you only get to use if you have insurance.

GUPTA (voice-over): There is another important difference, it's also easier to get free health care under Obama's plan because the income guidelines are lower, and that's primarily paid for with new taxes.

ROMNEY: Do you want more of ObamaCare?


ROMNEY: Do you want promises of higher taxes?


GUPTA (on camera): You have said he's either lying or at least misleading people. What -- which parts specifically? Was there something you specifically took issue with what the governor said?

GRUBER: First of all, he says, "Well, I didn't have to raise taxes and Obama did." Well, he didn't have to raise taxes because the federal government paid for his bill. It's really unfair for him to say, "Oh, gee, I didn't have to raise taxes," and ignore the fact that he got a huge subsidy from the federal government to make his bill possible. Clearly, that's not possible at the national level.

ROMNEY: Instead of having the federal government run them and impose on states how they work, I'm going to take those dollars and those programs and give them back to the states and let states craft their own solutions to their own problems.

GUPTA (voice-over): People in Massachusetts love their health care plan, according to Romney. And today, the state says 98 percent have insurance. That's the highest in the nation.

(on camera): So, you would say what happened in Massachusetts was successful, in terms of getting people who didn't have insurance getting them insurance? Is that correct? Did it accomplish its goals?

GRUBER: I think the bill had two goals. It was to get the uninsured insured, and did accomplish that goal. And it was to fix a broken individual insurance market. I cannot emphasize this enough.

GUPTA (voice-over): But Romney insists not every state is like Massachusetts, and his new goal is clear.

ROMNEY: The first on the list is to get rid of is ObamaCare.


GUPTA: No question, there's still be a lot of questions that he'll be facing. We'll make sure to keep breaking it down for you as well.

But up next, I'll introduce you to the human lie detector. He taught me there's no such thing as a good liar.


GUPTA: You know, in the heat of a political race, there are lots of claims being made and counter claims as well. And it got us thinking, how do you separate truth from fiction? How do you spot a lie?

Well, deception expert Steve van Aperen has worked on over 50 homicide cases with the FBI and the LAPD. He's so good, they call him the human lie detector. He says body language, behavioral cues, can be the best way to sniff out a liar.


GUPTA: So, let's talk about the interviewer and interviewee. Let's start with the interviewee. There are some people, imagine, for example, these criminals, these pathological people, their entire behavior, I imagine, is different from the average person. They have some sort of pathology.

Are they harder to detect in terms of their lies?

STEVE VAN APEREN, "THE HUMAN LIE DETECTOR": That's a great question. Often I'm asked, what do you think make the best liars, politicians and so on? My belief is pedophiles. Pedophiles are very good at manipulating their victims and their treatment providers and they literally live the lie. So, they are very good at covering their tracks.

But there will often be some telltale signs of what I call leakage or seepage, because what happens is, if you are going to lie, you need a great memory. You got to think, what have I said previously that could contradict me. Neurologically, if I asked you what you did this morning, you would be relying on memory through sensory input. So, you would be able to recall feelings, colors, conversations, tastes, smells, because you lived through them.

If I was interviewing you for a homicide and you said you were one place and you weren't, you have to fabricate and embellish those. If you're going to lie at all, you have to invent another two or three to protect yourself from the first one.

Not only that, I find truthful people, when they are recalling historical events will speak in past tense because it's a historical event. And they'll use tenses in some of the homicide cases I have been involved in, in relation to disappearance of a child. Usually, you find parents talk in present tense. They're going to say, "I love my child," because the anticipation or expectation is they'll still be returned alive, safe and well. So, if a child has been abducted and a parent is talking in past tense soon after the disappearance, red flags go up.

GUPTA: Can people learn to be better liars by listening to you or reading about this?

VAN APEREN: Yes, good question. Typically you can try. At the end of the day, people still trip themselves up.

And it's interesting because language is how we used to communicate. If I'm talking to you or I want you to believe what I'm saying often there's a tiny slip up. People often lie by omission rather than commission. So, what they don't tell you is more important than what they do tell you.

And people won't lie to you often. They'll just edit the information they supply you with . So, they are evasive, emissive, dismissive.

I'm sure you've done interviews, you've asked questions, they sidestepped the issue, they answered the question with another issue. They are buying time.

GUPTA: They answer it with another question.

VAN APEREN: Exactly. And what that means is the question has become the threatening stimulus. Let me ask you a question. What year did you start medical school?

GUPTA: 1993.

VAN APEREN: OK. What was your very first job?

GUPTA: I was a waiter.

VAN APEREN: OK. And do you remember where that was?

GUPTA: Ram's Horn Restaurant.

VAN APEREN: OK. What happened then is you look to you right. So, you're accessing that part of your memory, recalling, looking to the right.

One of the myths about lie busting is loss of eye contact is indicative of deception. Well, that's not true because you actually look away before you even answer the question. So, that tells me that you are recalling information. And people stare you down during a delivery of a deception, but their blink rate is between six to eight times after. So, it's almost like reaction. It's like got through that lie.

GUPTA: So, looking off to the side is actually, you say that's normal.

VAN APEREN: Absolutely.

GUPTA: You are recalling information. Blink rate is something that may increase after someone tells a lie.

VAN APEREN: What I teach people is have a benchmark of behavior then look for deviations from that normal behavior, because if you haven't benchmarked, you're not going to see changes thereafter.

GUPTA: As the human lie detector, again, which I know as a colloquial name, but is there anybody that you think you couldn't with enough time and enough questions figure out if they are lying or not?

VAN APEREN: Look, as long as I have the ability to watch interviews and then go in and interview and ask questions, because at the end of the day, you can try to anticipate what every question is. If you are fabricating and embellishing, you don't have all the answers. So, you can't anticipate every single question that I'm going to ask you.

So, that's the difference between an average interviewer and a good interviewer. And coming from all different angles, I might ask you one question. Sooner or later, sooner or later, if you are fabricating, not relying on memory, you are going to trip up.


GUPTA: That's fascinating guy. Steve van Aperen, thanks so much.

You know, you can't lie to yourself, though, which a lot of people try to do it when it comes to your diet. We got some help for you. That's next.



GUPTA (voice-over): Maybe you just want to drop a few pounds or maybe just feel better. With all the diets out there, which one is best for you? Well, "U.S. News and World Report" ranks 25 popular diets. Top overall, the DASH diet, that stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. The focus: chopping out excess sodium.

For preventing or reversing heart disease, "U.S. News" likes the Ornish diet. It's plant based.

I explored this in the last heart attack. Sometimes, sticking with a diet is the hardest part. And the magazine said weight watchers is the easiest of all to follow.

With diet, make sure to think long term -- yes, exercise, too.

That's "Food for Life."



GUPTA: You know, the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show just wrapped up in Las Vegas on Friday. This is a huge deal. About 150,000 exhibitors and attendees all there to check out the newest gizmos.

And among the people there, HLN's digital lifestyle expert Mario Armstrong. He's got a look at some of the latest gadgets that can help you get healthy.


MARIO ARMSTRONG, HLN DIGITAL LIFESTYLE EXPERT: Mario Armstrong on the show floor here at CES in the digital health summit area, a big area about technology, health and fitness. We have seen amazing things. We have seen mobile devices be able to check our glucose, check our blood pressure, our heart rate, and keep all that information so that we can track it over time.

We have seen how we can use apps to even share that information and store it online so that our physicians, our family and friends and distant relatives can get access to that info. Even telemedicine -- I was so amazed at how we can take doctors, medication and technology into areas where the expertise don't exist.

LANCE ULANOFF, EDITOR IN CHIEF, MASHABLE: You can have your device to measure your health, measure your activity with you all the time. You can have it on your smartphone. You can have it in your watch. If your watch is a smart device. And then those devices are connected.

So, the other thing is, they don't just collect the information, they usually connect it to a service, an online service of your computer. You flow the information there, you track it over time.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We see companies have a patch you can wear, a whole week straight. You can go in the shower with it. It's taking all your vitals and you can analyze it and live a more health conscious lifestyle.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think technology companies are starting up finally wise up, geeks haven't been the healthiest group of people on the face of the planet.


GUPTA: Now, there's another story I want to tell you about this morning -- something I found shocking -- which is that schools all over the country are literally making students sick.


GUPTA: How big a problem would you say air quality, indoor air quality in schools is to a student's health?

LILY ESKELEN, VICE PRESIDENT, NATIONAL EDUCATION ASSOCIATION: Right now, the last estimates said about a third of our schools, about a third of our schools have some kind of problem that causes respiratory problems in children.

GUPTA: That's remarkable.

ESKELEN: It's horrific! It is horrific.

GUPTA: As a father of three, I have been paying very close attention to this. You can see my full investigation, it's part of "CNN Presents," tonight, 8:00 and 11:00 Eastern.

Unfortunately, that's going to wrap things up for SGMD this morning. You can stay connected with me on my Lifestream at You can also join the ongoing conversation on Twitter @SanjayGuptaCNN.

Hope to see you back here next weekend. Time now, though, to get you a check of your top stories from the CNN newsroom.