Tuesday, August 28, 2007

It’s about Cancer, Stupid.

Lance Armstrong’s cancer forum is putting the wrong people under the lights. Even if the presidential candidates found a cure for cancer right there on stage, with the way the media covers politics the rest of us would never know. How is it possible that after discussing their approaches to winning – dare I say it – the war on cancer -- the headlines are about which candidate is willing to take which lobbyists’ money? I thought journalists were taught not to bury the lead. Well the lead is the toll in death and suffering cancer is taking, not the campaign contributions candidates are taking.

The press continues to confuse healthcare economics with curing diseases. The benefit of Lance’s gathering is it forces candidates to go beyond the “more money” argument and into how they would change something. In a discussion about curing and surviving cancer, it is folly to debate which lobby groups are “acceptable” as donors. The last time major health players were left out of the game, they defeated a popular President by putting two actors playing man and wife sitting around a kitchen table shaking their heads. If we are going to create medical solutions for cancer, we will need everybody at the table with open minds, collaborative natures, and valuable human and financial resources. And not shaking their heads.

Lance was right to ask the field of future Presidents how they would attack cancer. Now let's start asking the press to cover the answers and not let them change the subject to pick silly fights.

Greg Simon, President, FasterCures

1 comment:

Stacie Propst, PhD, Research!America said...

So true. Interestingly, 10 of the 18 candidates running for President in ’08 are serving currently in Congress but only three of them have responded to Research!America’s Your Congress-Your Health – Senators Obama and Dodd and Congressman Kucinich – to tell their constituents where they stand on questions about medical research, health delivery and care. Why haven’t the seven others responded? That is a question we suggest every person in their respective states/districts ask directly. It’s easy. On every Member’s page, there is a link to send a message asking him or her to participate in Your Congress-Your Health.

Americans cannot be expected to consider the issue of research or even health care if they do not know where their elected officials stand. But we need the entire community's help to urge ALL current Members of Congress to participate in Your Congress-Your Health. If we can activate the 125 million Americans who are connected to our 500+ members, the media will certainly get the message...