August 4th, 2008
06:50 PM ET
10 years ago

Obama, Bayh send letter to Pentagon on traumatic brain injuries

Obama met with Gen. Petraeus while visiting Iraq last month.

Obama met with Gen. Petraeus while visiting Iraq last month.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - As speculation over the number two slot rises, presidential candidate Barack Obama and potential v.p. contender Sen. Evan Bayh of Indiana joined forces Monday, signing a letter with eight other senators that urges Defense Secretary Robert Gates to increase medical coverage and care for Iraq war veterans left with serious brain injuries.

Watch: Obama pledges help for veterans

The senators point to a recent study from the RAND Corporation that estimates 320,000 troops from the two Iraq wars experienced a traumatic brain injury, or TBI.

Earlier: Obama camp launches military families working group

"We are concerned that at a time when TBI is recognized as the signature wound of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan," the senators write, "one of the most widely accepted and critical rehabilitative treatments for this injury… cognitive rehabilitation therapy, is excluded by the military's … health insurance program."
The other senators signing on to the letter include political notables Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-New York, Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass, Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass and Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-CT. Obama and Bayh's name are clearly perched at the top.

soundoff (346 Responses)
  1. Phil

    I just can't wait for Obama to say that he is in favor of opening up offshore drilling and drilling in Alaska. His mindless drones will then start saying how great he is and that he is showing he has a flexible campaign strategy for solutions...clearly forgetting they have been ranting for weeks that offshore drilling is merely a gimmick. Bahhhhhh goes the sheep.

    August 4, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  2. C E H S

    You mean 'himself' finally actually did something as a Senator? I don't believe it, Mr. Do-Nothing but Present actually did something. Shame it is something that has already been done. Of course if the man did his job as it is intended to be done instead of using it as a stepping stone to his next objective, he would have known. And anyone, who accuses Mccain of having TBI is a pig and needs to spend a few years dangling in a cage, then you can mouth off you idiot, moron. I'll bet most of you Bamama fans have never done anything worse than burn your hand on your latte'. I hope Bamama wins, and you all will be living on welfare.

    August 4, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  3. Brian

    Between this and representing the U.S. in the Middle East and Europe, senator Obama is already making the world a better place. Meanwhile, senaotor McCain's Low Road Express becomes ever more deceitful, slimey and down right bizzarre.

    August 4, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  4. A NIghtengale panhandles in Berkely Square

    Sue in Florida said "Hey Obama folks, Soon we will see Obama begging Hillary for help.we warned you!!!


    Hey Sue, Hillary is the bum on the street begging with her hand out to re-pay her debt. Now be a good liitle feminist and repay her debt.
    I did, but then again I always give to charity

    August 4, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |


    August 4, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  6. larry wi

    Obama had better proceed with caution when it comes to matching wits with McCain over any Veterans issue. Want to see the guy get jumped on big time, when he starts talking about Veterans and their affairs he will draw fire big time. We do not like the uninformed commenting our our best interest. If you haven't walked the walk you better not talk the talk.

    August 4, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  7. reggie

    Obama has an answer for everything, but a plan for nothing.

    August 4, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  8. Florida John

    Perfect match. 2 do nothing Senators teaming up to do...... Nothing.

    Great team.

    Interesting that he nows cares about the tropps when he needs their support. Where was he when they needed him????????


    August 4, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  9. Frank, Atlanta. GA

    That's why Obama gets my vote ! He is focused on issues important to ALL americans.

    Unlike John Mc Bush, who is only focused on bringing down the political opposition with negative campaign tactics, so he can continue the failed policies of Bush / Cheney.

    Vote for Barack Obama...It's the right thing to do !!!

    August 4, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  10. Shakur

    I wonder does McCain think injuries to our soilders in combat is funny. Politics or no politics our soilders need our support.

    August 4, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |

    McCain is a joke! He keeps talking about how the media is so fixated on Obama, but yet he can't stop making commercials about him. His commercials say nothing about what, if anything, he will do about anything. He's totally wasting his money on Obama.

    OBAMA '08

    August 4, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  12. anonymous

    This story was out a little over a year ago. All over the news,
    actually we can thank a journalist for bringing it to the table.
    And it got attention. This is old news Obama people.
    A solution that's already been talked about and talked about.

    August 4, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  13. Bill from ALabama

    It is about time,someone started taking care of our troops. Hillary ,I'm sure ,is tired of standing alone in that corner! She must have told him what to do!!! Well,as much as it is appreciated for the troops,it doesn't erase Obama's indifference in Germany!

    August 4, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  14. Jim West

    There is an email going around the internet , allegedly from a soldier in Afghanistan, saying that Obama snubbed the troops in Afghanistatn and did not visit with them. I would like to know if Obama really did visit with the troops in Afghanistan or whether he only visited with the commanders. With today's campaign mud slinging, it is difficult to know if that email is true or not. I would like to know if Obama really spent time visiting with the troops in Afghanistan, or whether Obama's Afghanistatn trip was just a political photo opportunity.

    August 4, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  15. Hatred drove us away

    ALWAYS liked Bill AND Hill- both have dedicated themselves to bettering America.

    Until this primary. NOW I LOVE BOTH OF THEM.

    The way they were kicked in the butt by their own party just to advantage the demogogue, Obama.... well it went beyond the lilly white pale...


    my FIRST defection from voting for the party nominee. I do not care for stolen rigged fixed primaries.

    I will protest until the DNC stops swiftboating their own best candidate for the beautiful empty black ones.

    August 4, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  16. 11 Bravo

    If McCain truly cared about veterans, he would have supported the new GI Bill, which he didn't even bother to show up to vote for.

    August 4, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  17. Hawaii

    Whoever Obama's VP pick is, he will make a rational decision based on many, many factors. Regardless of such, I know he will surround himself with only the best. He has shown this during the primary season, and he will over time continue talking about the issues that face our country - and not stoop to the low road that McCain has done.

    In fact, I hope McCain continues to waste his money putting out dumb commercials. Can't wait for the first debate!

    Very clear and stark choices here, folks. Either we continue the republican way and we all get screwed in the rear, or we change direction for the sake of our country.

    August 4, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  18. William, from Cali!

    Why is it, that these are all present democrats or former democRATS, signing this letter of concern; and no Republicans........................

    August 4, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  19. Bill from ALabama

    Opportunites lost ,can never be regained!!

    August 4, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  20. JR, Plymouth

    Yes, one waits with baited breath for the McCain Straight Talk Express to further derail with another petty attack on this one; the mind boggles as to how idiotic their next reponse will be, and whether they can still top themselves (or bottom out). What a shame to see this candidate put winning ahead of his fast-depleting reputation; I used to respect him even when disagreeing with him, but now he elicits only profound disappoinment in how effectively he is squandering his past in pursuit of his ever-less-likely future.

    August 4, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  21. Sabreen60

    Veterans who are "aware" know that McCain has voted AGAINST the last 10 bills to help veterans. He was AGAINST the Webb bill. Obama sponsored a bill in the past to help veterans with personal things like paying for phone calls and obtaining food, etc.

    Vote Obama.

    August 4, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  22. wake up

    NO McCain....America is NOT for sale...IF you were thinking about the country you would spend more time following Obama's leadership in bringing people together as opposed to trying to tear people apart...Obama is a real leader, not a swap meet politician like McCain who's up for the highest bitter...get it BITTER. Obama 08' "dropin it like a sock"

    August 4, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  23. Sam, MI

    Offshore drill! drill!! drill!!!. On your marks, set, GO! Are we ready to drill our way out? As an immediate solution, and when I said immediate, I mean a solution by next month, three months – ok, Nine months. Can McCain look the American people in the eyes and unequivocally affirm that we start drilling here and now today and in three months, six months, or nine months, we would have an immediate solution at the pump to solve the energy crises? Can McCain affirm to that? One to three months or at most in six months, our energy headech would be solved by offshore drilling? Bush has been in the office for the past seven and half years and as an oil man from TX, he has not made it an urgency issue to beat the drum to drill offshore and he had a republican controlled congress at his disposal. But all of a sudden and less than four months to leave office, Bush and McCain are blaming the Democrats for not helping the American people drill offshore to drill our way out of years of Bush/McCain neglect. That ironic! Less we forget, Bush was the President that urged the American people to buy SUVs – how we forget.

    Sam, MI.

    August 4, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  24. It Be Me

    some of you McCainadics crack me up.....

    ****Obama doesn't support our troops****......and then when this story comes out.....

    ******Obama is only doing this to get coverage*****......
    make up your freaking minds!!!!!!!!!!!!

    and please state for me, what in the last 6 months or so, has McCain done for the troops....other than tell them they may have to stay in Iraq for another 100 years...

    You'd think after the Iraq trip, they would learn....but noooooooooooooo...

    August 4, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  25. Erin in Edmonds WA

    To H: If you are planning to vote for McCain, please remember that it is considered a form of mental illness to be fixated on one person to the point of mad obsession. If you require futher explanation–recent ads and events clearly show that McCain is completely obsessed with Obama–and he has good reason to be 🙂

    August 4, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
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