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Health Care Website; Apple Expected to Unveil New iPads Today; CeeLo Green Accused of Slipping Woman Drug; Interview with Tom Perez; Unemployment Falls But Hiring Slows; New York Giants Finally Get a Win

Aired October 22, 2013 - 09:30   ET


ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: It's because there is an expectation that the Fed is going to keep pumping stimulus money into the economy. You look at the unemployment rate at -- even at 7.2 percent, it's still historically high. The 148,000 job additions wasn't as good as everybody expected, so it is a bit weaker, but not necessarily far off from what we've been seeing the past year. So you're still seeing this slow and steady job growth. And if you average out the job gains, you actually see, since the beginning of this year, we've been adding 185,000 jobs per month so far this year. So it's enough to keep the market going and that's why you're seeing the market a bit higher. But the reality is, this report isn't strong enough to move the Fed to wind down its stimulus program. So it is expected to keep propping up the economy with its stimulus and that supports stocks, which is why you're seeing investors buy into the market. There goes my voice.

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: No worries. I'll let you go get a glass of water. Alison Kosik, thanks so much.

With the scrutiny over the Obamacare website only growing, the White House sent out its best salesperson -- that would be the president himself -- to push back on sharp criticism facing the site and his signature legislation.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We are doing everything we can possibly do to get the websites working better, faster, sooner. We've got people working overtime, 24/7, to boost capacity and address the problems. Experts from some of America's top private sector tech companies who, by the way, have seen things like this happen before, they want it to work. They're reaching out. They're offering to send help.


COSTELLO: Gary Lauer is the CEO of eHealth, an online insurance broker. He joins me now live from Cincinnati.

Good morning again.

GARY LAUER, CEO, EHEALTH: Hey, Carol, how are you?

COSTELLO: I'm good.

Hey, our Jim Acosta just spoke with something. And I'm going to grab my notes here because he just -- he sent me some stuff. A former member of President Barack Obama's technology team. His name is Clay Johnson. He served as a presidential innovation fellow. He writes on a blog post, "the contractors who made this website were, at best, sloppy and, at worst, unqualified for the job." That just seems impossible to believe that something this important they would hire unqualified people to put together.

LAUER: Well, you know, I wasn't part of the hiring process and I'm not privy to it, but they've obviously got some really significant problems and they're going to need to be solved soon.

Now, one of the good things they have done in the 36 states that the federal government is operating an exchange in have contracted with us and a few others to help with subsidy eligible individuals. Now, we're not ready to do that yet because we're still dependent on the federal exchange operating, but, you know, I do have praise for Secretary Sebelius and Health and Human Services for at least reaching out to the private sector, a company like mine -- we've done this for a long time -- to help with lower-income people. Now the question is, what's going to happen in these 14 states that are trying to operate their own exchanges? At some point I think the spotlight is going to turn to them and they're going to need similar help as well.

COSTELLO: So you've recently talked to the - to some member of the Obama administration about helping?

LAUER: Well, not helping right with the problems they're having currently. Rather with being a resource in these 36 states that are not setting up their own exchanges for low-income subsidy eligible individuals to be able to use their subsidy.

No, we've not had discussions with the administration currently about helping with the issues and the problems that they have. What I'm really concerned about is just enrollment overall because if these exchanges don't get to a point where they're much more operative and effective, if we don't get a lot of people enrolled in a very diverse base, that's when this legislation really - really is at risk because Obamacare success and failure is based on one thing, enrollment. And the people who are enrolling now, who are somehow getting through in some of these exchanges that aren't working well, more likely than not are people who have not been able to enroll because they weren't healthy. Now they can. One of the great things about Obamacare is that somebody who had a pre-existing condition can now get coverage. But we need younger, healthier people in the pool as well.

COSTELLO: Well, let me ask you this because these aren't just glitches. We're talking about real problems, problems with the architecture of the system, the architecture of the website.


COSTELLO: Now the president says they've called in tech experts from all over the -- we don't know who they are - LAUER: Yes.

COSTELLO: But it's not an easy fix to fix the architecture of a website, is it?

LAUER: No, it's not. It's not. And, frankly, in the world I live in, the e-commerce world, you can't launch something that doesn't work. And said another way, you've got to put something out there that works and works really well because it's a very competitive environment. I don't know enough about the architecture of what --

COSTELLO: Well, should they shut it down and start over?

LAUER: Well, I think it's a little bit late to do that. Right now they've got stabilize this thing and get it working somehow, some way. And I would assume - I would hope that they're able to do that.

You know, frankly, at worst case -- could be a really good case -- we can do a lot of this for the federal government. We've been doing this for years. We had over 20 million Americans come to eHealth last year, long before the Affordable Care Act was really in this implementation stage. There are ways to do this.

Look, Carol, I believe they're going to get this stabilized. But the question is going to be, once it's stabilized and working, how well does it work and how effective is it? How many people get through and can get through in a way that they understand what's happening? And that's - you know, that's really critical here.

Look, building an e-commerce operation is not easy. It's very complex. You know, what you're trying to do here is replicate an or an eBay or an eHealth and the success/failure rate in these endeavors is not a good one in the private world where I live, which is why I have felt so strongly for so long that government has got to utilize some of the very best parts of the public sector to help in this credible effort to get people coverage. And I think one of the mistakes that's being made, especially in many of the states, is they're trying to do this on their own.

COSTELLO: Gary Lauer, eHealth CEO, thanks so much for joining us this morning.

LAUER: Thanks, Carol.

COSTELLO: Still to come in the NEWSROOM, celebrity scandal. Music star CeeLo Green accused of slipping a woman a drug and then taking her back to her hotel room. Details for you ahead.


COSTELLO: A big story today for all of you gadget lovers out there. Apple is expected to unveil a batch of new iPads in just a matter of hours. And as usual, rumors are swirling of even bigger surprises, like an Apple smart watch or new iPods or something like that. CNN's Laurie Segall is in New York with more.

Good morning, Laurie.


Well, we all love a good Apple announcement day. I'll say it myself.

First of all, Carol, let me tell you what the rumors are and what we can possibly expect. Let me get right to it.

First of all, new fifth generation iPad. A lot of people excited about this. This will be thinner and lighter, they're saying. Also a bit speedier. Also the new iPad Mini with a retina screen. So that would be a clearer display screen. And also updated Macbook Pros that are just a little bit faster than the previous ones.

Also, we heard before about OS Mavericks back in June. We might get the release date and price for that. A lot of people looking at that.

You mentioned iPods, Carol. People are very - you know, they're not as much -- they don't sell as well as they used to, but people still love to buy the iPods. So people are saying, maybe we can expect some iPods this go around.

Also, people are going to be interested to see if the new iPads have that fingerprinting technology that we saw with the new 5S. So, you know, people are going to be excited about it. And you mentioned the Apple smart watch. I don't -- I'm sorry to say, I don't know if we're going to hear more about that. I'm dying to hear if we're going to hear anything about the Apple television, but our sources say not likely.


COSTELLO: Really? Oh, that would be exciting.

Hey, you know, there are other tablets that are coming out this week, so tell us about them, too.

SEGALL: Everyone loves a good tablet war. And this is a big week. You know, you've got Microsoft's new Surface 2 and Surface Pro coming out this week. Now, this is the next generation Microsoft tablet. So people are really keeping an eye out for this to see if it can go head to head with the new iPad, although they say that the new iPads are supposed to still be a little bit thinner and lighter.

And also, you know, a dark horse. Everyone's wondering what Nokia's new tablet's going to look like. And you've got to look at, when we talk about the tablet war, about a year ago, Carol, Apple had about - I want to say something like 60 percent of the market share and they dominated the tablet market. You know, now they're at 32 percent. They've got these competitors. They also have competitors like Google's Nexus 7, Samsung Galaxy. So, you know, right now it's really anyone's game. We're going to keep an eye out for you.

COSTELLO: Competition is good though. It brings the price down. It makes a better product, right?

SEGALL: Absolutely.

COSTELLO: It's the American way. Laurie Segall, thank you so much.

SEGALL: Thanks, Carol.

COSTELLO: CeeLo Green is fighting to remain free after prosecutors decided not to charge him with rape. But the superstar singer and "Voice" coach faces a drug charge for allegedly slipping a woman Ecstasy before he took her back to her hotel. Entertainment correspondent Nischelle Turner is live in New York with more on this story.

Good morning.


You know, CeeLo has talked about this case in previous interviews saying the claims are baseless and untrue. He maintains that everything that happened was consensual. The woman, though, tells a much different story. And now CeeLo Green is having his day in court.


TURNER (voice-over): A few hours before "The Voice" hit airwaves Monday night, one of its celebrity coaches appeared before a real-life judge in a Los Angeles courtroom on a felony charge.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Your preliminary hearing would be within 30 calendar days of November 20th.

TURNER: CeeLo Green pleaded not guilty to one felony account of furnishing a controlled substance to a 33-year-old female last year. The woman claims the 38-year-old Grammy-winning R&B singer slipped her Ecstasy as they dined in a downtown L.A. restaurant, then took advantage of her in her hotel room. Prosecutors declined to charge CeeLo with rape of an intoxicated person sighting insufficient evidence. A move that seemed encouraging to the entertainer as he walked into the courthouse Monday.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you relieved?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you still a little scared, though?

GREEN: I don't know.

TURNER: CeeLo's attorney, Blair Berk, issued a statement saying, "Mr. Green encouraged a full and complete investigation of those claims and he was confident, once conducted, he would be cleared of having any wrongful intent. And it would be established that any relations were consensual."

But as "The Voice" enters the battle round for its contestants, CeeLo still faces a battle for his freedom. If convicted on the drug charge, he faces up to four years in prison. For now, he's free on $30,000 bail.


TURNER: Now, CeeLo is scheduled to be back in court on November 20th. There has been no immediate word from NBC about his future with "The Voice" in light of this case. The show was on last night, Carol. CeeLo was on the show. But this show was taped months ago. The live shows don't begin for a couple weeks.

Back to you.

COSTELLO: We'll keep an eye on it. Nischelle Turner reporting live from New York. Thanks so much.

Here's what's all new in the next hour of NEWSROOM. A new twist in the mystery of the little girl found living with a gypsy couple in Greece.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I dream about her all the time. And this is - this is what I see in my dreams.


COSTELLO: The parents of an American baby who went missing in 2011 think Maria could actually be their daughter.

Plus, this video has gotten more than 4 million hits on YouTube. These men have gotten themselves booted from the Boy Scouts for toppling an ancient rock formation. Now new questions about the guy who did the pushing from someone he's suing.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Somebody with a bad back, who's disabled, who can't enjoy life, to me doesn't step up and push a rock that big.


COSTELLO: That's all new in the next hour of CNN NEWSROOM.


COSTELLO: The September jobs report is finally out after more than a two-week delay because of the partial government shutdown. Employers added 148,000 jobs last month that's lower than expected. The unemployment rate, though, dropped to 7.2 percent as more people reported getting jobs and joining the workforce.

Still, millions of Americans are looking for work. Some are even going on disability. And young people, only 22 percent of them are even bothering to look for a job. Labor Secretary Tom Perez joins me live from Washington. Good morning, Secretary.

TOM PEREZ, LABOR SECRETARY: Good morning. Pleasure to be with you. COSTELLO: Thank you for being here. I know what you're going to say, though. We know this jobs report should be better but of course we do. But -- but it's not and people are getting a little tired of excuses. So I'll ask you just point blank, where are the jobs?

PEREZ: Well I think you look at the report and you see that the economy is slowly and steadily growing. This is now 43 consecutive months of private sector job growth, 2.3 million jobs in the last year, 7.6 million during this 43 consecutive months of private sector job growth.

And so we're moving in the right direction. We're not moving fast enough. And the sequester and uncertainty that surrounded the shutdown, those are not ways that you grow jobs. I talk to a lot of businesses day in and day out. And they tell me uncertainty is a huge drag on the economy.

And so, we're making progress. But we should have our foot on the accelerator.


PEREZ: And the uncertainty and the shutdown, that's putting your foot on the brakes.

COSTELLO: Well according to your Labor Department, through July the number of people working part-time grew four and a half times the number of full-time workers. Eight million people are now involuntary part-time workers. Republicans blame in part Obamacare for that. Is Obamacare to blame?

PEREZ: That's flat wrong. If you look at the data since the creation or the implementation or passage of the Affordable Care Act, 90 percent of the jobs that were created have been full-time jobs. You look at this recovery, you compare it with past recoveries and the mix of full time and part-time jobs has been indistinguishable.

The Affordable Care Act has had no impact on that area. And you look at job creation over the last year more and more employers are hiring people to work full-time. And so that's a few talking point that just have to --


COSTELLO: And you know where it gets confusing though, no but you know what get confusing for people, because we know companies like Trader Joe's and Home Depot have cut hours for many employees so they can participate in Obamacare.

So how can you say Obamacare isn't in part to blame for more part- timers?

PEREZ: We say we look at the data. And when you look at the aggregate data you see that since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, 90 percent of the jobs that have been created have been full-time jobs. You look at the data over the last year and you see again that the number of hours worked is going up. And so when we hear anecdotes, we respond to that. But when you look at the aggregate data, it rather overwhelmingly demonstrates that again this is a nice talking point but it's just not accurate and it's part of the confusion campaign that that folks are waging.

COSTELLO: But it can't be great news for you that the launch of this isn't going smoothly. Because you know Obamacare was supposed to bring the deficit down and according to the CBO, it will. But all of these problems are cropping up.

PEREZ: Well again as the President said yesterday, the challenges are unacceptable. There's a remarkable team of people working on it. We've already seen that 500,000 people, roughly, have put in an application. The demand is remarkable. And this is a long-term process. It's a marathon, it's not a sprint. And I'm quite confident, as is the President that -- these challenges --


COSTELLO: But -- but it should be -- it should be a sprint, right? It should be a sprint because you have to enroll a certain number of people for the thing to fund itself for it to work and before people start getting fined for not having health insurance.

PEREZ: Well actually you know there's a number of months that there is a six month enrollment period that ends in the end of March. And again, the President and the team of people working on this have been working 24/7 to address these issues. Healthcare -- the Affordable Care Act is more than simply a Web site. People can call in, people can get in -- we have increased the number of people on telephones.

And so there's a number of ways in which people can -- can enroll. And that's one of the things that we're making sure people are well aware of. And so I'm quite confident that these problems will resolve themselves. I know for certain that you know people have already benefitted from the Affordable Care Act. People like the millions of kids who are 23 and 24 who are on their parents' plans. The 85 percent of people who have health insurance and are seeing now that they get access to preventive care and other services, mammograms. The Affordable Care Act has already had a remarkably important impact. And -- and these -- these current challenges --

COSTELLO: I've got to leave it there.

PEREZ: -- well, I'm sure we will address. In short order.

COSTELLO: I hope so. Thank you very much Secretary Perez for joining me this morning.

PEREZ: Thank you.

COSTELLO: I appreciate it.

Still to come in the NEWSROOM no turnovers for Eli Manning. And the New York Giants finally get a win.


COSTELLO: The Giants -- the Giants get their first win. Andy Scholes is here with "Bleacher Report."

ANDY SCHOLES, BLEACHER REPORT: Hey, good morning Carol. And you know they usually picked the good games for Monday night football. It hasn't really work out this week records wise for last night's game was the worst matchup ever in the history of Monday night football.

The Vikings are 1-4, the Giants they are winless in this game, it was pretty ugly. The lone bright spot for the Vikings was this awesome sack by Jared Allen. Check it out. He's getting bear hugged by the offensive lineman but he's still able to pull Eli Manning down. And Eli would go down there. But this would be the first game this season he did not throw an interception. And the Giants go on to end their worst start in nearly 40 years with a 23-7 win.

All right. This maybe the coolest thing a band has ever done. During the half time performance on Saturday, Ohio State Band paid tribute to Michael Jackson. Check them out. They're moon walking across the field. Of course, we sped up this video but it's still pretty awesome. Look at that at the end, Carol, the split. I don't think that will ever be topped.

COSTELLO: I don't think that will ever topped by anyone. Yay, Ohio State University.

SCHOLES: All right. One of the top stories in the lineup section on today is about the amazing accomplishment of six- year-old Keelan Glass. Keelan recently became the youngest person ever to run a half marathon, that's 13.1 miles. She not only completed the race, but she did pretty good time crossing the finish line in 2 hours, 46 minutes. Keelan wasn't just running for that record. She was doing it to raise charity. Good for her.

All right. He was just two wins away from getting to the World Series, but now Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland is leaving baseball for good. The 68-year-old Leyland had a long list of accomplishments, one World Series win, Manager of the Year three times. But most people describe him as the grumpy guy.

But not yesterday during his retirement press conference, Leyland showed his softer side.


JIM LEYLAND, MANAGER, DETROIT TIGERS: I can't ever imagine the thrills that I've had in the last eight years. When it's time, it's time. And it's time. It's time to step down from the managerial position of the Detroit Tigers.


SCHOLES: Definitely sad to see him go. But he's saying the grind of every day, 162 games is getting too much for him at 68 years old.

COSTELLO: Well, I will miss him. He's awesome. Thanks so much Andy.

SCHOLES: All right.

COSTELLO: The next hour of CNN NEWSROOM starts now.

Happening now in the news room, two mysteries unfolding worlds apart maybe coming together. An American couple thinks this little girl found living in Greece is their missing daughter.

Plus, two convicted killers who forged their way out of prison now back behind bars in Florida but the case has exposed a larger and potentially more dangerous problem.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Obviously they've recognized holes in our system.