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. Eric

    Reading those posts are quite enlightening. Do people notice that every democrat comes up with facts, policies and all the reps just throw insults (when it's not plain lies).

    This phenomenon is quite amazing but tough to explain. One reason would be that the reps have a complete lack of morality, which would explain the ease with which they lie. The other one, not politically correct, would attribute a lack of intelligence to reps supporters, explaining why all they can do is to repeat the lines they heard on Fox news.

    August 4, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  2. I am a proud PUMAbot

    New term now on blogs: PUMAbots.

    I'll bite... I am willing to be one if it restores the democratic process that the DNC under pressure from the hateful Obama camp subverted.

    Long live democracy.

    Down with the demogogue.

    August 4, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  3. California Voter

    Obama is truly a candidate of change. He changes daily on what he stands for and what positions he holds. Yes, he is a person for change.

    August 4, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  4. fella from Chicago

    The war's been going on since March 2003. Why now good Senator? Oh I forgot, it's an election year. I guess once you're the President your attention will focus on how to get people on welfare roles once again.

    August 4, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  5. R.I.F.

    Chuck, Sacramento August 4th, 2008 3:47 pm ET

    You guys sound like whiney 5th graders. I hate to tell you this but helping out disabled troops is not some new Hillary idea. Benefits for vets has been around.

    August 4, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  6. Obama4change

    Senator Obama is such an decent, upstanding, intelligent, kind human being. He really cares about people. CNN has never had a story on McCain's voting record when it comes to the troops - worst of any senator. He has been against Veterans and families of MIA soldiers getting any information on their missing kin. Watch the video of his angry exchange with a family member of a MIA soldier - google it. The MSM does not report on any of these stories, but thank goodness for the internet. A lot of truth can be uncover on the internet. Bloggers - you have me laughing at work with the nicknames you come with for McCain. You are really creative - McClone, McWar, McOld, McLair, etc. Keep up the good work!

    August 4, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  7. bob in L.A.

    I am a democrat and was a Hillary supporter that has been asked to change my loyalty to Obama.
    How can I? He has been in the Senate for 3 years and is now finally deciding to do something other than criticize others actions? This new bill sounds good ( I haven't seen enough info to knwo for sure) but where was he on helping the troops a year ago? Where was he on bills on health care, the economy, the engery crisis?
    Now he wants us to use stratigic reserves and not consider that pandering but Hillary and McCains gas tax holiday was?
    In June there was no way he or his backers would agree to seatign the full Florida and Michigan dlegations but today its OK?
    Who is this man and why doe she treat us like we are idiots?
    McCain is out of touch and too old for the office and frankly I have very different beliefs than him, but at least he's more true to his word.
    Obama needs to step back and admit he hasn't learned enough about the issues to be the candidate this parrticular year.
    We really need a third party cnadidate in 2008!!!!!

    August 4, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  8. Jackie Powers

    If Obama pick the Senator from Indiana he might as well withdraqw from the election. I live in Indiana, I would not vote for Obama and I'm democrat. After the other Indiana V.P. who wants another Indiana Senator in line to lead our country.

    August 4, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  9. Beca

    But Obama was giving free beer in Germany and did not stop to see the injured!

    August 4, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |

    Obama without hillery is going to be a very close race. With hillery on the ticket he is in

    August 4, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  11. Bill from ALabama

    I"d hate to see Hillary get tied up with something like Obama. She is much too nice a person!

    August 4, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  12. E

    AF Vet and you others claiming Democrats don't care about vets, you need to stop spinning out B.S. and think like grownups for a change. Democrats have sons, daughters, fathers, mothers, and other loved ones in the armed forces too. They die as easily and serve just as well as those loved by Republicans. Some of us have generations of military in our families who have proudly served. It is one of the most un-American things I can think of to try to attach party to patriotism. I do know that a lot of Democrats tend to think that American lives are dear and that although we will sacrifice them for causes greater than ourselves, we should be sure that we are sacrificing for principles worthy of American blood and in a way that does not dishonor that sacrifice. If we all really cared about Vets, we would fund them properly for equipment from the start of a war, rotate them properly to keep touch with families, keep diplomacy active while they fight, give their families adequate housing and benefits and support while they are away, and then when they come back injured or come back at all, make sure their sacrifice gets them excellent health care, benefits, education and support for the stress, rather than putting them through all sorts of hell and generally forgetting about them. Waving flags, putting bumpers stickers everywhere and denigrating anybody who point out abuses of our soldiers doesn't do the country justice or the soldiers who defend it and execute its policy.

    August 4, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  13. Tennisguypitt

    McCain, the "war hero" is against the GI bill!

    August 4, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  14. Oh Boy!!!???

    Why now? some ask. Why did it take this long? Repugs were in charge all this time and never did a THING about help troops get home/stay healthy. Just send more troops, we'll make more is their line.

    Where is Johnny? Is it true he is at Sturgis with all those upstanding, well educated, and moral bikers/voters? Go tell it on the mountain, Johnny!!!

    Oh Boy!!??

    August 4, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  15. Independent-woman-4-Obama

    I am very impressed with Sen. Obama & Bayh! When McCain does nothing but throw stoned and demean his opponent, Sen. Obama gracefully rises above the.......madness of negative campaign to offer solutions!

    Well done, well done!

    ARE YOU READY FOR A CHANGE........ ARE YOU READY TO MOVE ONTO A BETTER FUTURE????????????????????????????????


    August 4, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  16. kim hussein taylor portland, oregon

    to all of you "never obama" folks-what is it that you hate about the guy?? it makes absolutely no sense for anyone who makes less than about 500k a year to vote for mccain! he has said he plans on just following blindly in bush's FAILED shoes. bush is the WORST president in u.s. histry, and you want to vote for a guy who supports him and promises to continue his FAILED policies??

    PLEASE research obama ON YOUR OWN. dont listen to the white shills like hannity, limbought, etc... talk about elitist, they openly say things like, "you cant have money from my wallet..." they are pigs!

    so here are some obama FACTS:

    1. if you make LESS THAN 250K a year, YOUR TAXES WILL GO DOWN, NOT UP!!!!

    2. obama wants to tax the DISGUSTING, history-making profits the oil companies are making off all of us right now!! can you imagine how much money that will be??? and with a democratic pres and congress, IT WILL HAPPEN (cuz they wont have a repug oil president blcoking everything).

    3. obama SUPPORTS our troops. he wants to have all the medical care they need-physically and emotionally.

    4. obama supports helping out the families of our troops, that have been devestated by this disastrous economy and president!

    5. obama is LIKED around the world, this is VERY important when it comes to foreign policy. there will ALWAYS be terrorists and there will never be peace in the middle east, so more wars in the region just make more money for bush and his pals (which is their goal).

    6. obama wants us off oil. he wants to put a lot of the oil company profits into renewable resources, LIKE THE REST OF THE CIVILIZED WORLD IS DOING!!! oil is the past, oil makes us weak. and dont believe the righties that we have enough oil, we dont. and offshore drilling is an absolute JOKE!!!

    this list goes on and on. it's a very simple choice, a prosperous peaceful america and world-or more of the same cr@p we're dealing with now!!!

    the only people who have an "excuse" to not want president obama is redneck racists and the pro-life ultra-conservatives. but the VAST majority of america will benefit ONLY from obama!

    August 4, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  17. tony

    The really sad thing is that most of you Dems think he cares about the troops-Dems being against the war–NEVER honor the troops–
    This is a show just like all others he has put out so he can hear his name being chanted-
    It's a joke most of the people I talk too think it's a joke also-
    McCain will win primarily because of the OBAMA Attitude-
    Easy Win–

    August 4, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  18. sharon walker

    Dear Friends:
    So Bill Clinton says he has never said a racial or sexist statement!
    Well I worked in the mortgage business during his administration as president. His way of underwriting and watching and responding to complaints of fraud and racially over underwriting for real estate loans in favor of 78% Debt to income and the risks of stated income and misuse of loan officers lead to the down turn of the Savings and Loan and the present economic real estate disaster!!!! Racially he by negating his responsiblity said that blacks get prvilidges for politics!
    ANd black females got more and Latinos then and now when it compares social services. Liar! Liar! Liar! Bill your pants are on fire!

    August 4, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  19. dave Greenberg

    I noticed this article mentions "Joe Lieberman, D-CT"

    That's no longer accurate!

    August 4, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  20. J. McKinney

    Anything to the story going around now about Obama's illigitimate child??
    Anything to the story about his raising taxes on sale of a home for retireds?
    Anything to the story that he is finally getting some sense, and reconsidering Hillary for VP?
    He MIGHT get my vote if she is VP, but sure not without it. I think "Mr. Important" is in for a surprise in Nov.

    August 4, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  21. Joseph

    Lieberman is an Independant leaning Republician, not a Democrate. Please change your typo.

    August 4, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  22. Brennan - Seattle, WA

    John McCain will certainly oppose this measure. Per his GI bill soldiers more coverage will encourage them to get TBI's in order to take advantage of the benefit that they clearly have not earned.

    Obama 08

    Iraq War Vet 2004-05

    August 4, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  23. Know the facts

    OBayhma 08!

    August 4, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |







    August 4, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  25. Doug

    I think it's good that Obama and other Senators are coming out to show more support for the health of the troops. John McCain clearly has turned his back on his fellow soldiers which I find very troubling. Not sure if it will be enough to change the minds of some of these swing state voters – who just might want 4 more years of Bushstyle policies.

    August 4, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
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