Cooperation can pay off

Published Jan 5, 2017 at 4:00pm

There is no better term than “moonshot” to describe the extraordinarily ambitious goal of doing 10 years’ worth of research in half that time to find a cure for cancer. The fact that Obama just signed into law a bill to do just that is, in itself, a testament to the 21st Century Cures Act.

The new law will invest $1.8 billion in the Cancer Moonshot Task Force.

The bill also has in it $1 billion for opioid abuse prevention and another $4.8 billion for biomedical research. The new law provides funding to improve mental health access and services, as well.

The toll that the opioid epidemic and cancer have taken on American families and communities is immeasurable. Our lawmakers are to be commended for responding.

But can we really beat opioids?

Can we really beat cancer?

Recall that at one time going to the moon seemed impossible. But President John F. Kennedy said we would do it, and we did. It happened in 1969.

Though there was little bipartisan cooperation during the Obama Administration, the signing of this bill into law was the exception that proves we can work together, and make progress, in politics and policy, when we have clear and common goals.