August 4th, 2008
06:50 PM ET
6 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. Mike, TX

    Godd idea. Obama needs the coverage.

    August 4, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  2. AVERAGE JOE

    how are they going to manage to criticize this

    August 4, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  3. Lesley

    McCain has consistently voted against bills that included benefits for GIs. I think that's huge. He's touting his military record and does not even support the troops where it counts most, with votes that can improve their lives! Maybe he missed the news accounts of the difficulties they have to overcome just to get treatment at VA hospitals and the horrid conditions of some of the facilities. He is truly the empty suit here. And he doesn't even give pretty speeches!

    August 4, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  4. mississippi girl

    Way to Go Senator Obama. At least one of the two candidates for the President of the United States of America is out doing some productive work with a vision. While our troops are out fighting Bush and McBush's bully war, McBush is over here issuing out tire gages with Obama's name on it. I guess it is just another moment to insert some humor in the presidential campaign (yeah right). Bullies that is what the Republican is and what they have single handedly given America the reputation of being. I can't wait to November. Obama '08. I am ashamed for the GOP: Grand Ole Poopsters.

    August 4, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  5. Dave in Canada

    Those pollsters must be calling mental institutions to have McCain tied with Obama. I think I'll stick with the Letterman poll which always shows Obama leading by a wide margin.

    August 4, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  6. cubs

    People wake up. This guy will get things done. Were any of you surprised to see Liebermans name on the list??? I'm a Nam vet and when McBush is yakking about how he knows how to win wars, what does this prove. We sure as hell didn't win Nam or Korea and I don't believe it is a win or lose situation in Iraq. This guy doesn't have a clue. Experience to him is time served (NOT) We need selutions not idle TOWN HALL talk. Come on Demos get out and vote. It will be a start.

    August 4, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  7. therealist

    These guys have been in the control of the Senate for the last 2 years!! Now..., they decide to send a letter??

    Our 110th Congress seems to have traumatic brain injuries too..

    August 4, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  8. Greg, San Francisco, CA

    Bayh would be a great VP choice and could turn Indiana blue.

    August 4, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  9. Sam Rose

    This is great news-no matter who is leading the effort.

    TBI's are all too often ignored-as they most times have no-apparent physical manifestation-the injury is in the body-not outside the body–

    TBI's can last a lifetime-with moderate to severe effects-that compromise the lifestyle of the effected person–

    Good news for our brave men and women of the military-

    August 4, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  10. Danny from OH

    McCain's only words are "The Surge is Working and We Are Winning the War" but he does nothing for the troops. He even voted against the GI bill so this tells who has the troops at heart. All that he knows is dirty politics.
    God Bless you Barack.

    August 4, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    So what line of smear attack do you suppose the "adolescents" running McWar-monger's campaign will come up with on this one. Perhaps he can argue that the injured soldiers from Iraq don't need treatment ... after all he didn't get any therapy for his injured brain! He has made it quite clear that his own brain is way beyond rehabilitaion just like his supposed honor!

    August 4, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  12. EMJ

    It would have been worth millions if in the picture of Obama and Petraeous they were doing that 'terrorist fist jab'!!

    August 4, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  13. J

    Thank You, Obama for at least TRYING to work out this mess we are in!! McCain on the other can do nothing but try to make fun of you like a kid. Everyone has to understand, McCain this election was IN HIS POCKET, he felt as a SHELLSHOCK POW, the President position was HIS FOR THE TAKING, he felt he deserved it!

    But here comes this Obama guy that EVERYONE is CRAZY about, (and that's because he's saying the things AMERICAN'S want to hear), we need a change. The housing market is in the pits, our children are dying unnecessarily, and everyone is losing their jobs! But all McCain can do is MAKE FUN of someone, this is not school recess McCain these are people lives you are PLAYING WITH!

    OBAMA '08

    August 4, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  14. Soldiergal

    Where is Senator McCain? Still studying the birth control issue, or keeping up to date with Britney and Paris? As an active duty Soldier, I certainly don't wish to have him as our CINC... if you look at the issues (GI Bill, commissary issues, etc.) he really isn't as supportive of our troops as he thinks he is.

    August 4, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  15. chechthisout

    Bye Bye Obama – Bayh !!!!!!!!!!!

    August 4, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  16. Bill Bryden

    Barack Obama needs to select senator Chuck Hagel as his VP running mate. Crossing partisan lines is essential to move government forward in a meaningful way, especially as a champion of change. while not all of Mr. Hagel's viewpoints are in agreeement with Mr. Obama's or mine–particularly on abortion–he is not an ideologue and it is imperative that topics such as abortion not continue with the kind of polarizing views that so far has dominated the 'discussion.'

    i urge Obama to make Chuck Hagel his vice presidential choice.

    bill

    August 4, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  17. Sue - Florida

    Hey Obama folks,

    Soon we will see Obama begging Hillary for help.

    we warned you!!!

    August 4, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  18. Andrew in OR

    Is Mcain going to hand out "Obama" headcasts to mock this as well? The man is worse than a joke he makes me cry.

    August 4, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  19. Latina for Obama

    while mccain attacks obama on a daily basis..Obama is out there helping our vets..thats why he has my vote!!!

    August 4, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  20. Ray

    On a day when Senator McCain showed his ignorance of science in demeaning Senator Obama's reference to inflated tires promoting better gas mileage, it is refreshing to see Senator Obama staying on point with regards to solutions for our country. Someone ought tell Senator McCain that there is more to taking care of our troops than just wearing a Navy cap. Perhaps Senator McCain might take a break from his childish banter to remember that he is still a paid Senator.

    August 4, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  21. Felly

    Obama is the real deal on what our country needs right now. Old McCain has no vision for this country.

    August 4, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  22. McCain in Buffalo Chips land Land

    McCain Vetoes everything that will benefit Veterans or Woman and then today would you believe McCain and Cindy "most likely dressed in Harley leather "is speaking at the The Buffalo Chip 2008 in Sturgis So Dak who is there you ask? Kid Rock ,Bikers from all over ,Woman MUD wrestling, Bikinis some topless and bottomless ,beer flowing like a river .McCain and Cindy think they are in Heaven and that they see the light but its to the beer trough and unclad woman this is McCains way of life so he fits in well.

    August 4, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  23. Emma, San Jose, CA

    Bayh and Obama are so right. Cognitive behavioral therapy is widely used and has been helpful to a lot of people.

    August 4, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  24. Billy Rave Valentine-Capricorn

    Now who is the war veteran?

    August 4, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  25. Luis

    Rich,

    Spoken like a true Obamite.............................

    This media creation is going to get whipped in November. Americans are not as stupid (whell, Liberals aside) as he thinks.

    He can't hold a position more than a day, his wife is a bigger racist than Clinton ever was and his Chicago entourage (Rezko,Ayers,Wright,Farrakahn and on and on) will come back to bite him over and over again.

    Have your crying towels and excuses ready. I plan to be at the McCain victory party.

    Vote McCain or join the insane...........oh, sorry, you already have (joined the insane).

    August 4, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
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