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. Jill American

    Not the change I'm looking for .. same ... same ... same ... men in the White House.

    August 4, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  2. Southern view

    Evan Bayh is not a good choice. He's milktoast. While he won't offend anyone, he doesn't address Obama's weaknesses. National security and hard finance economics are his weaknesses. That doesn't add up to Evan Bayh.

    August 4, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  3. Former republican white man from california for Obama

    Figures Sen Obama is laying out a straight and clear path to our energy future. Sending this letter to help get things moving for the heath of our troops Sen Mc Cain is no doubt releasing attack ads that do more harm than good to his candidacy and doing small town hall meeting were he does nothing but bash his opponent and never offers real answers to any questions. Come on people lets take back our party from the right wing radicals! These are not republican values these are values bought and paid for by big oil and the richest greediest people in the US.

    Go Obama 08 Yes We Can

    August 4, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  4. Lorna, NY

    I pray that the American people is not stupid enough to vote for McCain. It will really put this country further in the toilet.

    August 4, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  5. elly

    MCCains attacks are juvenile!!!!!
    He hasnt got one good thought or idea of his own
    do your research!!! this election is vital!!!
    The truth is John McCain has repeatedly voted against supporting veterans.

    McCain Voted Against $19 Billion for Military Hospitals. In February 2006, McCain voted against an amendment that would have provided for at least $19 billion for military health facilities, paid for by eliminating tax cuts for the wealthiest earners.
    *Senate Amendment 2735, Amendment failed.

    McCain Voted Against Legislation to Provide $2.8 Billion For Medical Care for Veterans. McCain voted against a 2006 Democratic amendment that would have provided $2.8 billion to increase veterans’ medical care.
    *Senate Amendment 149, Amendment failed.

    McCain Voted Against Establishing $1 Billion Trust Fund to Provide Improvements to Military and Veterans’ Health Facilities. McCain voted against an Amendment to establish a $1 billion trust fund to provide improvements to health facilities that treat veterans and military personnel to lapse on December 31, 2006.
    *Senate Amendment 2735

    McCain voted Against Adding $1.5 billion to Veterans’ Medical Services in 2007 Budget by Closing Corporate Tax Loopholes. McCain voted against an Amendment offered by Democrats to increase medical services funding to veterans by $1.5 billion in 2007.
    *Senate Amendment 3007

    McCain Voted Against Mandatory Funding of $6.9 Billion in 2007 Budget and $104 Billion Over Five Years for Veterans' Health Care.
    McCain voted against a Democratic amendment to provide a mandatory stream of funding of $6.9 billion in Fiscal Year 2007 and $104 billion over five years for veterans' health care.
    Senate Amendment 3141

    September 2007: McCain voted against the Webb amendment calling for adequate troop rest between deployments
    thats MCsames idea of helping the veterans!!!!

    Obama08

    August 4, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  6. Ez

    Go Obama I gues McSame is busy preparing the next mud throwing

    August 4, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  7. Obama 08 - rocking it baby

    Now ... McCain and camp was hard on Obama for not visiting the troops abroad ... (even though the Pentagon and making the visit look too political was the real reason Obama didn't make the visit) has not sign or even came up with any real resolutions to support the troops.... this goes back to the fact that McCain is out of touch... this is a good thing that Obama and others are doing ... If McCain really cared about our troops he would be signing the letter along with the rest of the Senators.

    August 4, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  8. Franky

    "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."

    How Ironic!! About an hour or so, me and my mom were talking about our troops! And quite frankly, we were talking about this!! That's the truth...

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

    Lisa,

    If you read this, please change Joe LIEberman's party affiliation in this story. He's not a Democrat. The Democrats in CT voted him out of the party.

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

    Having had a father who surrered from TBI from WW-2, I'm very pleased to see any legislative leaders addressing this issue. Sen. Obama's support of such a move clearly demonstrates the kind of judgement that is otherwise lacking in too many of our elected officials. Why is it that we can spend so many billions on weapon systems that don't provide us (OR THE TROOPS) any real security, while over looking what should be basic health care security for those who may have to put thier life on the line. This is and old story in need of a good ending.

    August 4, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  11. barbara in pa

    Rich, I couldn't agree with you more! It is crucial that we elect Obama in '08!

    August 4, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  12. Concerned Citizen

    McCain Campaign add claiming that Obama is "playing politics" with the troops' health in thre, two, one . . .

    August 4, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  13. Jordan - San Marcos TX

    But I thought that all Democrats "hate the troops"? Ridiculous of course... They're the party that is actually doing the most to help them right now after the Bush Adminstration/McCain/the Neo-Cons almost destroyed our armed forces for their own egos.

    August 4, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  14. Peter E

    So... anyone whose name appears next to Obama on any bill is now a VP contender? That would include a dozen senators in both parties...

    August 4, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  15. Linda Sandy Springs GA

    Thank You President Obama and Vice-President Bayh the troops really need America's support.

    Obama/Bayh or Obama/Biden 08 and 12

    August 4, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  16. NotFallingInLine.org

    Obama saw some poll numbers and knew it was time to pander... he's already shown that he doesn't care about wounded soldiers, and this act of obvious pandering won't change this fact that we already know about him from what little record of him that we have.

    Of course, some of his leading detractors among Democrats don't have a record that's much longer or that looks better than his. They don't have a record of treating their followers with any more respect than he does.

    Darragh Murphy, the treasurer of PUMA PAC, is no better than Barack Obama.

    Is Barack Obama the Second Coming? No.

    AND NEITHER IS DARRAGH MURPHY!

    August 4, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  17. Mike in West Virginia

    First of all, Lieberman sure isn't a Democrat. He's an Independent who just caucases with the Democrats. I sure wouldn't want to be a co-sponsor, even of just a letter, that Lieberman had signed. He's a McCain man all the way.
    That said, Obama is doing the right thing, and I am totally surprised that McCain didn't sign onto this. But then, John McCain doesn't walk the walk - and just barely talks the talk - and most of the talk is of the wrong kind.

    August 4, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  18. Louisiana Ed

    If someone were to ask McCain why he didn't sign this letter I'm sure he would say he wasn't asked, or was not aware of it, which would just be another of his flagrant lies.

    August 4, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  19. Austin

    I agree w/ ya Rich. But you know McCain's come back "he didn't visit the troops in Germany". Blah, Blah, Blah....

    What a comeback week (Monday) for Obama !!!!

    August 4, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  20. MoveOn

    Now that CNN's pet Obama has finally adopted John McCain's positions on offshore drilling and the importance of energy independence, and even though he's too arrogant to admit the surge worked and he was wrong on that, too, maybe we'll start to see some balanced reporting from CNN.

    August 4, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  21. Nancy in Detroit

    What Rich in Seattle said. Also, Joe Lieberman is NOT a Democrat – his designation is Independent, although he isn't really.

    August 4, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  22. GERRY

    FOR ME I AM NOT IN FAVOR OF, NEVER HAVE BEEN, AND NEVER WILL. I THINK IT'S A TOTAL DISGRACE TO SEND OUR MEN AND WOMENT INTO A WAR THAT IS UNJUSTIFIED. FOR THE GOVERNMENT TO NOT GIVE THE WOUNDED AND THOSE SUFFERING FORM TBI EVERYTHING THAT IS POSSIBLE TO RETURN THESE MEN AND WOMEN TO A SOMEWHAT REASONABLE IS BETOND MY COMPREHENSION. TO ALL THE SENATORS WHO SIGNED THIS LETTER LET US ALL BE GRATEFUL.
    WHERE THE HELL IS MC CAIN ON THIS ISSUE?

    August 4, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  23. Irma in North Carolina

    Why is the Mccain camp constantly putting out all these stupid adds, do they think this will get Mccain elected in Nov. Would be a lot better if they talked about the issues that concern the american people. They are just as bad as the puma people who say they are going to vote for Mccain, it goes to show they werent much of a Hillary supporter by acting like this. They are nothing more than a bunch of racists and American dont need these kind of people.

    August 4, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  24. Mike, FL

    1. Obama/Clinton

    2. Obama/Bayh

    3. Obama/Kyane

    My choice for VP in that order.

    August 4, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  25. Debby, NJ

    Go OBAMA Goooooo !!!
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU !!!

    August 4, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
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