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. base

    well,mcsame,needs to be the first to support the vets,but no; he has no new ideas,but old ideas.walk up America do not be fooled this time around. America needs a fresh start, and to regain our top position in the world. As a leader. mcsame is not the answer.
    yes to obama-08

    August 4, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |

    Thanks OBAMA for focusing on real issues and not Paris and Britney. By the way, great energy plan!! I'm looking forward to my $7000 tax credit for a new Hybrid and $1500 Energy Rebate.

    August 4, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  3. JIMMY

    True leadership. Thank you Senator Obama for supporting our troops in this real, tangible way.

    August 4, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  4. McMental

    McCain is too busy whipping up gimmicks like tire pressure gauges and Paris Hilton ads to try and pull in the numbskull vote, who, sadly, are the real "deciders" in American elections.

    August 4, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  5. mollygonz

    AF vet..I am an AF wife of 12 years and I think you are wrong about democrats. If you research both candidates you will find that Obama has done so much more than McCain for the troops. Obama has received much better grades than McCain from various Veteran's groups so please do your research before making blanket statements that have no grounding.

    August 4, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  6. Andrea- Baltimore Afro American

    If this is the result of his Kenndy let panal which I am still wondering
    what C Kennedy did to merit this process... did she ever hold any office or run for any maybe she is a professional polister...

    Anyway whatever the Rookies does short of getting the % he needs to
    win by putting Clinton on he will lose

    Obama better pick his VP well. up by 3 points , give me break....

    August 4, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  7. McMental

    Jon, drilling offshore saves us an estimated 4 cents a gallon on gas.

    August 4, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  8. lizfor hillary clinton

    obama the flip flopper...see I knew it all along...whatever he says is just bull....all he wanted to do was clinch the nomination...HE will say and Do whatever to get elected...c'mon getting black people to vote for him just bc he is black...whatever

    August 4, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  9. Rebuplican for Obama!

    McCain have voted again over 100 benefits to GI and our vets!!

    Thanks again McOil !

    August 4, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  10. Mark

    I was a democrat and am waiting for Obama to lose...(laughing in the inside seeing his poll slipping) i guess it's time for the democratic party to learn a lesson!! I guess the party will only reunite after the inevitable loss of Obama in 2008.

    August 4, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  11. Obama is Disgusting

    The Romney ticker was closed, so I'll post here:

    Obama is not only dishonest – he is a race-card playing, race-baiting, arrogant, lying, flip-flopping, DISENFRANCHIZING, egotistical, phoney, afraid to debate, stuttering and stumbling fool (except when he's reading a pre-written speech) with a racist disgusting wife and very questionable connections.

    I wish he'd go back to Germany and stay there forever. He can take nasty big mouth ugly Michelle with him.

    August 4, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  12. Andrew

    I'm glad to see TBI is being addressed in this campaign. I just hope that this won't end up being another forgotten campaign promise.

    The tremendous strides being made in the areas of Poly-Trauma is amazing, and can only continue with those in need receiving and being covered for the newest and best treatments. I applaud all the Senators involved in this letter – but as it's only a letter I will save true kudos when something is actually changed and done to help guarantee this countries wounded warriors get the best care that we can provide for them!

    August 4, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  13. Justin in TX

    Jeez. The "why didn't you go see the troops" smear is so ridiculous. McCain's own campaign on their blog even acknowledged that they had the story wrong. He did go see the troops, several times. They even used VIDEO of him visiting the troops in their attack ad. But please, continue to distract voters with falsehoods because that's the only way you'll get McCain elected.

    August 4, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  14. lizfor hillary clinton

    what does barack obama know about foreign policy...NOTHING...i think i know more....geez

    August 4, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  15. Deb

    In reading some of the comments I realize we are in a sad state. As one presidential hopeful concentrates on the issues...the bashers keep bashing. He tries to get help for the veterans but has to get questioned on a two week old issue of "not visiting the troops.. Come on people let's focus so we can get this right. Our country is on the brink of a disaster, please let's join together to elect the better person which is Barack Obama. This November is the most important one I can remember. McCain has no real answers that is why he is taking the time to have "playful, humorous" ads developed.

    August 4, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  16. Lorna, NY

    Why is CNN not reporting the news? I have not seen any mention of the donations that Hess made to McCain's campaign the day after he called for off shore drilling. These are the issues the American people expect the MSM to report. If the truth was reported, this election would be a landslide for barak. How biased!

    August 4, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  17. Ray


    Why did Senator Obama not do all of these nice things before running for office? Curious…

    Why isn't McCain doing them NOW? Cause he's too busy taking the low road...

    August 4, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  18. David

    The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Monday shows the race for the White House is tied with Barack Obama and John McCain each attracting 44% of the vote. However, when "leaners" are included, it’s McCain 47% and Obama 46%.

    McCain is currently viewed favorably by 55% of the nation’s voters, Obama by 51%. That is the lowest rating for Obama since he wrapped up the nomination. Obama is viewed favorably by 83% of Democrats, 22% of Republicans, and 47% of unaffiliated voters. For McCain, the numbers are 87% favorable among Republicans, 26% among Democrats, and 61% among unaffiliated voters.

    August 4, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  19. David Valentine

    Clearly this should not be a political issue. Every Senator of both parties along with Independents should be advocating for every available help for those with brain injury. The more immediate help and retraining of the brain the less long term cost to tax payers. The brain is elastic, but early help is essential.

    August 4, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  20. ShirleyY - Seattle



    August 4, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  21. Weepy

    Okay, that is a good thing. Demonstrating concern for our troops does not mean that Obama is needed as our next President. There are many decent and caring folks out there, but very few DESERVE the honor of being our next President. Obama has done nothing to DESERVE the honor of being our next President. He is just a "show boat".

    August 4, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  22. Lorna, NY

    I will not longer watch CNN. Report the news, the American people deserve better. I will go to channel 13 or BBC or huffingtonpost.

    August 4, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  23. EMJ

    If Jesus himself came back today, the Republicans would find a lying, fear mongering way to be against him. 'he has long hair'..'he wears Muslim looking clothes'. 'he was against the surge'...
    All this lying negative junk will work about as well as it worked for the fat lady who finally sang.

    August 4, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  24. Tim


    Please explain why drilling cannot be done on the SIXTY-EIGHT MILLION acres of area that the Oil companies already have leases on. Who is preventing that? Nobody.

    Explain how giving them millions of more acres of area to drill in is going to change anything when they don't use the area that they have?

    August 4, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  25. Kongtooth

    Wait until you see the earmarks on this bad boy!

    August 4, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
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