tv CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley CBS October 1, 2013 7:00pm-7:30pm EDT
the government shutdown in a moment. but, first, americans began shopping online today for health insurance on those new state exchanges created by the affordable care act. there were major problems. all over the country. web sites were slow or crashed all together, leaving a lot of folks angry and frustrated. the president noted that by 7:00 a.m. more than a million people visited the main web site health care.gov. >> that gives you a sense of how important this is to millions of americans around the country. and that's a good thing. and we're going to be speeding things up in the next few hours to handle all this demand that exceeds anything that we had expected. >> pelley: we have a team of correspondents covering the historic rollout of obamacare. first, wyatt andrews with more about the problems the president promised to fix.
>> reporter: as millions of people flooded the system, the government web site for obamacare-- health care.gov-- temporarily broke under the strain. the main page went from "apply now" to this: please wait. and then for a time the system went down. "please try again later" it said. and this is the web site used by 34 states. several states running their own exchanges also had delays. in washington state, the web site closed down. administration officials said the federal site was overwhelmed by 2.8 million visitors-- a number they never expected. white house senior advisor david seamus said the problems drew an allout response from web site technician at the department of health and human services. >> we expected a slow rampup and what we saw today was an overwhelming response that exceeded even what we've seen in medicare in any given day. so it was a good start. we identified problems. tomorrow's going to be better. >> reporter: despite the delays and inconvenience, the
white house argued the high numbers were a sign of intense interest in obamacare. california alone saw 1.7 million hits on its web site in the first hour. connecticut reported 130,000 hits; maryland 87,000. what the administration is not reporting is how many people actually enrolled today. some of that is because officials won't know until people sign a contract with an insurance company and make a down payment. but, scott, we also know these first-day problems are what stopped many people from signing up. >> pelley: wyatt, thanks very much. more than half the states-- 27 in all-- declined to set up their eninsurance exchanges, so those exchanges are being run by the federal government. texas is one of those states and here's what anna werner found with a family there. >> the idea of being able to compare multiple plans with one simple application-- if it works as advertised like that-- it will help me a bunch. >> reporter: we were with dallas resident matt warren as
he went to healthcare.gov. he and his wife general stphret two kids. she's a a nursing student, he's a freelance videographer. the family has to pay for their own insurance, costing nearly $5,000 a year. >> well, it's one of our absolute biggest expenses. i mean, it's second to our mortgage our single-biggest expense. >> reporter: but warren himself isn't covered because his high cholesterol and a case of low-grade skin cancer made the policy too expensive. >> if something were to happen to him it would affect our whole family. it's terrifying for us. >> reporter: but instead of new choices, the web site told him to wait. attempts to log on with our producers' ipad failed, too. no options. after four hours, he gave up. >> i was excited to get on and i can't so, yeah, i'm disappointed. >> reporter: he plans to try again tomorrow. scott, there are some six million uninsured residents in
texas. it's estimated close to half of them could be eligible for coverage under the act. >> pelley: anna, thank you. in 17 states-- the states you see on this map-- the health insurance exchanges are being run by the states themselves. new york is one of those and don dahler was in brooklyn today with a woman trying to enroll. >> reporter: young americans like tory noel are essential if obamacare is to work. the administration says it needs $2.7 million young and healthy people to sign up to cover the cost of treating the sick. >> i'm not getting any younger and i would like to be protected in some way, absolutely. >> reporter: peace of mind? >> yes. health care has been sort of on the back burner. >> reporter: the self-employed shoe designer hasn't had health insurance since college. today she got as far as choosing a password. >> i suppose everybody's trying to do this now. >> reporter: then the server crashed. >> oh, yes, i can transfer you. >> reporter: new york's health exchange help line assured callers it was a temporary glitch. the state's executive director of health, donna frescatore.
>> we've received two million hits on our web site starting at opening time at 8:00 this morning. >> reporter: things didn't improve much by afternoon. knoll tried about a dozen times before she gave up. she told us she'll keep trying again tomorrow. scott, registrants have until december 15 to sign up for coverage starting the first of the year and until march to sign up or risk tax penalties. >> reporter: don, thank you, those penalties don mentioned start at $95. it's a fine because, for the most part, under obamacare, individuals will be required by law to have insurance either through online exchanges or their employers. now, to the government shutdown triggered by a dispute over obamacare. the most conservative republicans in the house refused to pass a bill to fund the government unless it includes a significant rollback of the health care law. so this morning money ran out, discretionary spending stopped
closing federal landmarks and offices from sea to shining sea. 800,000 federal workers nationwide are being furloughed. their lost paychecks will take $200 million out of the economy everyday. chip reid is looking into this. >> reporter: treasury department employee peter gamba wants congress to know that federal workers have already sacrificed enough. >> we've not seen a pay increase, we've been furloughed and now for whatever reason that i can not fathom you're asking me again to give up my pay and give up service to the american public. >> reporter: bard from his office, gamba tried to relax at his home in harper's ferry, west virginia, but found that impossible. >> it's a nightmare for me financially. it causes me a lot of anxiety and stress. i don't sleep well at night. >> reporter: at the portsmouth naval shipyard in kittery, maine, workers streamed out the front gate this morning after
1500 of them were handed furlough papers, including barry seward. >> i'm very disappointed that things couldn't get done. >> reporter: in washington, outside the environmental protection agency which sent home 94% of its work force, furloughed employee michael firestone had tough words for congress. >> i am incredibly frustrated. there's absolutely no excuse for this kind of behavior. these congressmen and senators knew about this months and months ago. >> reporter: there's no telling how long this shutdown will last and there's no guarantee when it does end that those furloughed workers will be paid for the time they missed. so, scott, some of them are already out looking for temporary jobs to fill the gap but, of course, in this job market that won't be easy. >> pelley: thanks, chip. so how much of the government is shutting down? we were surprised when our research department came up with this: turns out 82% of spending is exempt from the shutdown. that includes social security, medicare, medicaid, and interest
on the debt. the parts subject to the shutdown is only 18%. but those agencies get slammed. for example, the treasury department loses 89% of its workers. the department of defense loses 50%. we sent mark strassmann to america's top national health agency. >> reporter: the centers for disease control headquarters in atlanta felt deserted. two-thirds of the center's 13,000 employees worldwide have been furloughed. director dr. thomas freeden. worried? >> i am worried. i usually don't lose sleep despite the many threat wes face but i'm losing sleep because i don't know that we'll be able to find and stop things that might kill people. >> reporter: the shutdown means the c.d.c. will not be able to produce the weekly national map that tracks flu outbreaks state by state. flu season began last month. >> we will be less able to determine when it's come, what kind of flu has come or to respond to outbreaks. >> reporter: more people are likely to get sick just because
there's been no warning to let them know what a problem they have? >> what we won't know is what's happening with flu. where is it spreading? what types of flu are spreading? should we be using one medication or another? is it in nursing homes or elsewhere? this really interferes with our ability to protect people. >> reporter: frieden worries about other outbreak it is c.d.c. will not be able to track, including hepatitis-a, salmonella and measles. >> there's an outbreak of something like legionella pneumonia, we may not detect it, we may not find it, we may not stop it. if there's an outbreak of food born illness we may not identify it promptly. >> reporter: despite the shutdown, scott, hundreds of c.d.c. employees will be able to keep working on long-term projects inincluding aids research and the world trade center health study. >> reporter: mark strassmann, thanks. this afternoon president obama labeled this "the republican shutdown." >> one party in one house of congress in one branch of government shut down major parts
of the got. all because they didn't like one law. >> reporter: nancy cordes is on capitol hill tonight. nancy, the last government shutdown 17 years ago lasted 28 days. is there any progress in ending this one? >> reporter: scott, if anything the parties are more entrenched than we were yesterday. here is the latest twist: within the hour, the house will be voting on a republican plan to restore funding to three areas of the government that got a lot of attention today-- national parks, veterans affairs, and the district of columbia. now, the white house has already threatened to veto that. democrats say you can't pick and choose which parts of the got you want to keep open and which parts you want to close. i asked a tea party republican today how long he feels comfortable keeping the government closedded over obamacare. he said "that's up to leadership," scott. and another said he feels obamacare is worse for the country than a government shutdown. so he feels comfortable standing his ground for now.
>> pelley: how united are the republicans in the house on this issue? >> well, we saw a few more defections today, including one who called his tea party colleagues "lemmings going over a cliff." he thinks this is a losing strategy. but you're really only looking at about eight house republicans who have gone public with their disagreement with about 200 of their colleagues. so that's not enough to turn the ship around right now, scott. >> pelley: we'll check in with you tomorrow, nancy. thanks very much. wall street took the shutdown in stride. the dow gained 62 points today, snapping a two-day losing streak. world war ii veterans found a way to get around the government shutdown. the police had a big announcement today in a terrifying road rage attack. and the pope made news by what he said about some of his predecessors when the "cbs evening news" continues. you raise her spirits.
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down and was rear ended. new york city police commissioner ray kelly. >> we had over 200 calls just on sunday about this particular group operating in a reckless manner. >> reporter: inside the s.u.v. was alexian lien, his wife and infant daughter. he ran over two people while trying to flee the bikers. a two-mile chase followed. at one point a biker tried to open lien's door. when they finally caught up to him, they smashed his window. police say lien was pulled from the car and beaten. police blame the bikers and have not charged the driver. it's believed the bikers were holding what's called a stunt ride in which they slow traffic to do tricks on the highway. often bikers videotape their antics. this video's from southern california. new york police say they were aware the riders planned an event on sunday. >> we had checkpoints, we had
inspections that were done of the motorcyclists. we had made 15 arrests. we'd confiscated 55 motorcycles. we issued 68 summons. >> reporter: lien was treated and released from the hospital, but 32-year-old jay mieses, one of the people he ran over, is in a coma. his wife diana says he was just trying to help. >> he paralyze mid-husband on the way. when you look at the video you can see he's running over something. it's not just a motorcycle, it was a human being under there. >> reporter: scott, one of the suspects in custody is believed to be one of the men who beat lien, the driver. investigators tell us they're studying that videotape, looking for even more suspects. >> pelley: michelle miller, thanks very much. pope francis is continuing his makeover of the catholic church. in an interview published today he criticized some of his predecessors saying they were more concerned about the vatican than the faithful. the pope met today with a hand-picked team of advisors--
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>> pelley: a 13-year-old girl is the sole survivor of a rock slide in colorado that killed five members of her family. it happened yesterday in the mountains southwest of denver. some of the red sox that fell were the size of trucks. manuel bojorquez has the story. >> reporter: search teams today reached the site where 100-ton woulders fell on a popular hiking trail. they recovered all five bodies despite unstable ground and the threat of more falling rocks. chafee county sheriff pete palmer. >> you see the steepest of the slope, you've seen the size of these boulders, this was a risky, risky operation to carry out by all volunteers, members of this community. >> reporter: dwayne and dawna johnson and their 18-year-old daughter kiowa died in the collapse, along with two cousins visiting from missouri. only 13-year-old grace johnson survived with a broken leg. she told rescuers her father died trying to shield her. jennifer eggelston is a family friend.
>> we may never get over this. they were so much a part of every single thing that we ever did. you won't be able to find one person in this town that they did not touch. they were a big part of everything. >> reporter: the loss in this town of 2,000 is felt deeply at buena vista high school. the johnsons both coached here, their daughters were students. today classmates mourned near a rock on campus that has become a memorial. brian yates is the school principal. >> we all loved them. and -- i love the kids here. we know that right now the kids are the focus and take care of them and take care of the staff. that's our job. >> reporter: there will be a vigil here at the school tonight. scott, the trail where the rock slide happen remains closed. a county official said recent heavy rains in colorado may have played a role in the collapse and more rocks could give way. >> pelley: terrible accident,
manuel. thank you very much. there was a remarkable site on the alaskan coast. scientists with the federal government came across this: 10,000 walrus washed up on shore. they were unable to find sea ice in the arctic ocean, they had no place to go but a barrier island in northwest alaska. men who won world war ii were not about to be defeated by a government shutdown. their story is next. after reading all the reviews i know i'm making the right choice. online or on the phone, we help you hire right the first time. with honest reviews on over 720 local services. keeping up with these two is more than a full time job, and i don't have time for unreliable companies. angie's list definitely saves me time and money. for over 18 years we've helped people take care of the things that matter most. join today.
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>> pelley: finally tonight, as the number of world war ii veterans rapidly shrinks, an organization called "honor flight network" is on a mission to take those vets to the memorial in washington that honors their service. but the group arriving at the memorial today ran smack into the government shutdown. what happened next is a story told by jeff pegues. >> reporter: benjamin joyner came to washington today to mark his place in history. >> one day i saw two torpedoes coming at my feet and i said "good lord, how did they miss me?" >> reporter: the 89-year-old navy veteran from lucedale, mississippi, served in the pacific and pledged to see the world war ii memorial before he died. were you going to see it one way or the other?
>> yes, indeed. >> reporter: this morning he made it. >> thank you for your service and welcome to your memorial. >> reporter: but the barricades that came with the government shutdown got there first. >> i just wonder what we fought for. back then i had a pretty good idea but now i just wonder, the way that things are going, and they're not working together, they're working against this country. they're trying to destroy it. >> reporter: he arrived with a group of 90 other veterans on an honor flight. many of them were in wheelchairs and with medical supplies in tow. but they would not be deterred. a group of congressmen eventually moved the barricades. the memorial is dedicated to the 16 million americans who served in the armed forces and the more than 400,000 who died. when you saw it today what was running through your mind?
>> i -- i'd see it. >> reporter: what are your thoughts as you come to washington on a day when the government is shut down? >> well, that's just their way of doing things, i guess, and i think it's silly, but i think they -- with all these educated people that are up there doing these jobs that they should have sense enough to work together. >> reporter: a world war ii veteran in the nation's capital on the day parts of the country he fought for stopped working. jeff pegues, cbs news, washington. >> pelley: and that's the "cbs evening news" for tonight. for all of us at cbs news all