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. Cody in IL

    I'm still writing in Hillary this November

    August 4, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  2. Straightopiniontalk2008

    Here a good and practical way to address the issues a facing service men and women. That is LEADERSHIP! The only thing McCain can offer is attack Obama.
    For those of you who think that McCain shares your views, feels your pains, etc. I have just one simple question: Have you ever in your life time owned a shoe that you paid $530 (five hundred thirty dollar) to purchase? If the answer is: yes, then congratulations McCain is your MAN!
    Do you know why McCain has visited Iraq so many times?
    It is not because he is very much interested in the progress of the war. It is to ensure that no commander makes the mistake in putt his son at the war front! That is how Elites do, they brag that they have sent a son or daughter to war but they make sure that they are never in the harms way, by securing a base posting for them why the innocent poor people's children fight patriotically and courageously and die. Guess what their sons and daughter will eventually come back home and get the glories of fighting those wars! The poor will in the best case get the medals and tomb stones to watch! DO NOT BE FOOLED AGAIN! McCain is not one of you! Did you see any Bush among the fallen pictures

    August 4, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  3. Michele, Oregon

    Good for Obama et al!

    Meanwhile at a town hall in Dover, NH, the week of July 25, Senator McCain said we should ration care for veterans, by directing the VA to focus on those veterans who sustained injuries as a "direct result of combat."
    Veterans from 18 states sent a letter to McCain stating that this would be a retreat from a promise we've made to veterans ever since 1930 – that no matter how or when they received service-connected injuries, they would receive timely and quality care.

    Adding to the list of McCain's "care" for Vets......

    Obama '08!

    August 4, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  4. Lynn in NM

    Sorry. The time to support the troops is not only in an election year. He couldn't be bothered to speak to the troops, or meet with them, if the cameras weren't there. The military is wise enough to see through "speaking out of both sides of the mouth."

    August 4, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  5. Lyn

    Joe Lieberman isn't a Democrat.

    August 4, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  6. larry wi

    Obama is really supporting our troops, yeah, as long as he doesn't have to stand next to them. Do you think this is his idea, even as lame as it is, it's not his, He isn't smart enough to address an issue such as this. obama should be focusing on all combat Veterans injuries, and not just the one's from Iraq, this just goes to show you just how narrow he is.

    August 4, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  7. karen-phoenix

    McCain has had 30 years to "fix" things in Washington. Where was he all this time?!!! McCain's experience "STINKS"! Our only hope of survival is Obama. McCain is just more of the same old, same old!!
    Obama cares sooooo much more than McCain ever will. Obama is a "real" person who has worked and struggled. McCain lives off a rich beer queen! McCain has 8 houses! How can he ever relate. And don't forget the Keating 5! He should have gone to jail. Judgement? Obama far outleads McCain in judgement!!! And I'm a 50 year republican who is sooo ashamed of the rep. party!

    August 4, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  8. bill pike

    i am a vet 1963-65 and say it about time. i cannot believe that our soldiers have gone through the lack of care they have--THEY SHOULD GET THE BEST IN THE WORLD. we should have every city with X amount of doctors who do the work and put them first-bill the government for 1/2 their fee and give the doctors tax breaks. IT MAKES ME SICK TO MY STOMACH THINKING ABOUT A VET NOT BEING TREATED LIKE WE WOULD THE PRESIDENT OF THE U.S.

    August 4, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  9. M. Winners, Mesa, AZ

    Now this is the kind of thinking and political support this country and it's armed forces needs! Bravo to all the senators who support it. To bad McLame's name is no where to be seen on the initiative.
    But wait – According to McLame providing more benefits to our service men and women will only make them want to leave for the private sector won't it?

    August 4, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  10. The Other Jon

    McCain didn't bother to show up to vote on bills to support our troops. Quite patriotic of the old school politician.

    August 4, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  11. Steve, CT

    Lieberman is not a Democrat. Stop it.

    August 4, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  12. jane

    I knew Obama wouldn't pick Hillary Clinton as vise president. He just used her to get more votes for himself. Hillary got "charmed" by Barack so she blurted out something like "If you voted for Hillary, you should vote for Barack Obama". But Barack never wanted her as vp.

    August 4, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  13. Marge Hibbing Mn

    One thing for sure Bayh isn't going to help obama's faltering campaign. If he so hot, why isn't he way way ahead of McCain. If he doesn't even ask Hillary he is going to fall even further. Off the map I hope.

    This person should never even have been in the campaign and with his flip flops his arrogrant way and his stumbles is now showing it.

    August 4, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  14. sue

    Our vets are treated shamelessly. We should not have to wait for Obama to help them as we should have been doing it all along. If only we would treat our soldiers and their families as well as the 9/11 surviving families were treated. How did we get such a priority list?

    August 4, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  15. norml

    i'm sure mccain wont support this either.hard to believe he's a vet.

    August 4, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  16. Charlie

    O get off your high horse please would be nice if for once Americans used their heads when making arguments instead of spewing out lines and other propaganda provided by Obama and McCain's staff. No I don' like McCain...and yes I'll probably vote for Obama...but please enough already with the Yes We Can, hope BS...hes a Politician like those before him...and you like every voter/media consumer since the dawn of time regurgetate their attack lines.

    Do some of your own research for once that doesn't involve reading CNN headlines and maybe this country can fix the bureaucratic mess it's in! Geeeez...

    August 4, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  17. Obamacrat

    I wish they would do something about their own brain injury. It would be nice if he really meant it, but this is just more political posturing. He wouldn't even see the troops in Germany when there was no photo-op. Pandering, plain and simple, but at least the vets may get some benefit from it.

    August 4, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  18. Joyce A. Higgins

    Every time I turn on t.v. I hear that Senator O is putting together this and meeting with this group and that group; going here and there. Sort of reminds me of someone preparing to make a move. Then you have Senator Mc who is going along, status quo, not meeting, at least publicly, with anyone one; doing NOTHING. The feeling I get is if by some horrible mistake (stealing the election, again) he becomes Commander In Chief, he plans to walk into the White House and leave things as is. There doesn't seem to be any preparation for a transition.

    August 4, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  19. Justin (ny)

    Yet another example of Obama SUPPORTING THE TROOPS through ACTIONS and not just words, ala McCain, who time and time again has voted AGAINST expanding coverage.

    listen carefully and you find out exactly who stands for what.


    August 4, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  20. Carroll

    Hell NO! These Clinton loyalist can't get this out of there head. I equate Obama not being way ahead in these polls, is because I suspect the people polled are older. They have not updated all the young people interested and support Barack Obama and his Campaign. In November the results will be there and make more history....

    Clinton.. who? No way!

    Washington, D.C.

    August 4, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  21. mollygonz

    So Obama doesn't support our troops right?? I am so disgusted with McCain. I can't believe some of the garbage he has pulled lately. I can only hope and pray Obama is the next President. He is proving more and more each day to be the one with the sound ideas and knowledge to put our country back together. I haven't heard one innovative idea from McSame's camp in the last two weeks..he's too busy attacking Obama and Obama is fighting back by creating all these wonderful plans. Well McSame..time is a ticking and you're wasting it everyday you concentrate on Obama.

    August 4, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  22. AL

    CNN, this morning I commented on how much coverage you give Obama...and guess what. YOU ARE DOING IT AGAIN.

    Where is McCain? What is he doing? What plan is he offering? What fund raiser is he attending?

    Where is Barr? and all the rest of them?

    Come on, report the news....

    I feel like I am watching an auction where the hot items get their pictures on the pamphlet.

    August 4, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  23. Tjstelten

    I really resent those calling Obama arrogant. I want a President that has confidence and can hold his own with world leaders. Bush can't do that and its been embarressing at times. If Obama had only had a few hundred people in Berlin, you guys would have called him a loser. Obama presents himself as a leader should and to bash him because of this is shamefull and makes you guys seem arrogant. Obama deserves our praise and respect. Win or lose, everyday Obama is working to make life better for us all. A thank you is over due!!!

    August 4, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  24. norb

    Why is Joe Lieberman listed D-CT? I though he ended up winning his Senate seat as a independent?

    August 4, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  25. Robert

    Nice to see that one of the candidates cares about veteran issues. Too bad it's not the one that it should be. Guess he's too busy with Paris Hilton/Britney Spears ads.

    August 4, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
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