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. ladawn ervin

    exactly rish, while obama is trying to lay out his energy plans, mcsame mocks him with a tire guage, everything obama does right, mcsame attacks him for it...its so sickiening

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

    brain brain BRAIN!! UUUURRRGGGHHH BRAIN!

    August 4, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  3. Sherry, Atlanta

    I Concur with you 'Rich in Seattle-

    JOHN MCCAIN WAS AGAINST A BILL "GIVING OUR TROOP'S AND VET'S THE BENEFITS THEY NEED AND DESERVE...

    And to add that, John McCain is ALWAYS telling American's of his service in the Military.

    JOHN MCCAIN=CONFUSED

    August 4, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  4. T Guy

    SO WHO REALLY CARES ABOUT YOU .........

    VOTE OBAMA..........08

    August 4, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  5. Realistic

    Who cares who his VP is going to be? He's going to lose in a landslide in November as he continues to change his mind on every single important issue leaving no one with a clear view of how he feels about anything. Hopefully, we will never have a candidate this unqualified in the future. His inexperience is shouting loud and clear. Perhaps he should try out for American Idol after losing in November. That would be a better fit.

    August 4, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  6. Darryl Miller

    Please would some one look at Senator John McCain actual record on how little he ever help vets. John McCain many have been a disable vet but he seem to have forgot how it felt be injuried... Help our Vet's now..

    August 4, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  7. Enlightened Voter

    John McCain has voted against all GI bills that have come across his desk in his career and yet he supposedly cares about them??? Same old repug trick, empty rhetoric. Thanks Obama for taking the issue to hand. And whoever the repug scum is who is posing as others on this blog thanks, its shows a sign of true desperation and that you bums won't win. Keep posing as me, I really don't mind and I take on my other identities. Besides no one could ever accuse you repugs as being enlightened anyway.

    August 4, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  8. fafa

    good move Barack. This guy is smart.

    August 4, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  9. Bob from Pittsburgh

    It cost me about $20.00 evrytime I drive in fron of the Navy Hospital in Rocville MD, is sad to see may veterans asking for money to survive..

    Where is ""United we stand.?"". not from this point of view my friends.. YOU NEGLET THE VETERANS, Did I mention I am Canadian..

    Bob..

    August 4, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  10. justin in CO

    excellent. how will mccain attack this?

    August 4, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  11. Peter (CA)

    As someone who works with brain injured individuals and sees how it can turn their lives and those of their families upside down, I say "thanks" to Sen. Obama and the others for caring. For those of you who do not see (or refuse to see) what an Obama presidency would mean, well here you go.

    Sen. McCain was not even willing to sign off on the increase in educational benefits for our soldiers. Ask yourself who really cares

    August 4, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  12. yala

    IDIOTS FOR McCain!!!
    People who are voting for McCain need emotional and mental health check up. Just see how this man has conducted himself for the last few weeks. I thought wisdom comes with age but McCain is a failure case. If you want an insight on how the McCain years will be, you are just living it, only worse terrible economic situation and no health care!
    Imagine this man whining about Obama's trip overseas with no orignal thought in that joke he calls a a campaign.
    Obama in Germany d/4 go to a sussage house and then whin about feeling left out.
    All of a sudden you making an AD about Obama being a celebrity and commiting blasphery by comparing him to Moses of the bible.
    Even his foreign policy is a joke. BEING A POW DOES NOT ACCOUNT TO EXPERIENCE IN INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS. Don't follow foolishly listen to how ignorant McCain is.
    Nothing construcive about your so called MARVRICK...... VOTE for senility and be ready for numerous war in the name of keeping you safe.

    August 4, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  13. Bryan

    I figure Wesley Clarke was right. People may not have wanted to hear it but it is true. Being shot down in war doesn't automatically qualify you to be president of the United States. I don't think that is demeaning to McCain's military service at all. Its just a fact. My dad was in Vietnam. He got shot at. Would you all vote for him if he were to run?

    August 4, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  14. Rudy NYC

    This bill will no nowhere. McCain and the GOP has already voted against stuff like this.

    August 4, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  15. CB FOR OB

    This is real leadership.

    McCain need to change his bus name to empty express talk!

    August 4, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  16. Lou Dobbs’s Independent

    From Former Democrat

    This letter is Election year political stunt

    Hillary 08 or Mc Cain 08

    August 4, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  17. Dale, Kentucky

    Come on Obama, why do you constantly address the issues at hand? Why do you not join John McCain in the endless spiral of attacks on the other guy.

    Way to go Obama! Our soldiers deserve the best healthcare we can provide for them.

    But you still should throw in there something like: "John McCane hates the soldiers, that return, because they didn't sacrifice enough for their country"

    August 4, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  18. Independent-Minded American

    What's that snake Lieberman's name doing on this? He really wants to play both sides doesn't he?

    August 4, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  19. TJ Johnson

    Why just Iraq vets? We have had many other wars where our boys suffered greatly with the same type wounds. Why aren't they all equally treated? Obama is just doing this for votes, but won't get mine no matter what.

    August 4, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  20. Judy

    If Obama is so concerned with our troops welfare, why is it that he blew them off during his overseas expo? Oh, that's right. There weren't any cameras. How pathetic! Wake up America and see him for what he is...

    August 4, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  21. CP - Texas

    That is how you lead. McCain follows with props in response to anything Obama says. A clear leader Obama is.

    Obama 08"

    August 4, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  22. azu

    I SAY AMEN TO RICH IN SEATTLE'S COMMENT.

    August 4, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  23. Phantom of the Oprah

    What a guy

    August 4, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  24. David

    McCain is so old, he's probably forgotten that he was once a seriously injured POW. He gives that impression. He wouldn't know if we did not remind him. But, then, it's gotta be a GOP thing. These soldiers were a cheap way to ensure Halliburton et al access to oil (Boy, we blew that one, didn't we, Dick?). The Military Industrial Complex that Eisenhower warned us about is now in control!

    August 4, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  25. EA

    More proof that Obama is more in tune with a wide variety of the real issues that affect all Americans. I have always respected Sen. McCain from his 2000/2004 bids and thought now here's a real politician. But what I've seen from him this time around truly turns me off. I hope and pray that the American public will look past their pre-conceived notions of Obama and right the ship with new leadership. It can't get any worse that what we have seen over the past 7 years.

    August 4, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
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