Call it a pittance, a parting symbolic gesture for an administration with eight years full of such things, or just another chance to smile, nod, and bite his lower lip at us on camera, but Barack Obama’s just-signed-into-law “21st Century Cures Act” is a good, albeit incomplete, step in the right direction for cancer and related disease research in this country.
And long overdue.
If there is one thing I’m willing to create deficit spending for, it’s cancer research. Richard Nixon declared a War on Cancer some 45 years later, still fighting that same war.
There have been smallish victories to be sure, and promises of greater victories remain – but absolute victory still eludes us.
Like so many (too many) of you reading this now, cancer has taken a toll on my own family. It is a disease that strikes without warning, disrupting lives, and cutting them painfully short.
Mr. Obama’s new law allocates nearly $2 billion additional dollars toward further research and development in the war on cancer and other illnesses. It’s not nearly enough. This country can and must do more – so much more. But it’s another start, another moment, however brief, where Americans will focus on the need to find a cure, and for that I am grateful to the President and the bi-partisan effort that resulted in the signing of today’s bill.
And let us hope that the same determination Donald Trump has shown in freeing up the back-to-work potential of this country will share similar determination in unleashing the great medical potential that is within our grasp as well. Research must be funded, streamlined, and treatments made more available to the greatest in need.
I believe with absolute certainty we can do this.
It is merely a question of if we will.
D.W. Ulsterman is a bestselling, award-winning author and socio-political commentator.
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