President Donald Trump
Organizations such as the American Cancer Society viewed the investment as a positive step.
“Any increase in current funding levels is a good thing,” said Keysha Brooks-Coley, the vice president of federal advocacy at the Cancer Action Network, the advocacy arm of the American Cancer Society. “We have to start someplace, and the president’s announcement puts us there.”
What’s unclear is how meaningful the increase is in relation to current federal spending on childhood cancer research.
The National Institutes of Health estimates its 2019 spending in this area to be
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi considered Trump’s proposed funding level insufficient, according to a congressional aide who was in a closed-door meeting Wednesday with her.
“Five hundred million dollars over 10 years — are you kidding me?” Pelosi reportedly said during the meeting. “Over 10 years, $500 million, $50 million a year. That’s like — what?! Who gave him that figure? It’s like the cost of his protection of his Mar-a-Lago or something.”
But a spokeswoman at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), which is a part of the NIH, told KHN it would “embrace the opportunity to lead a national initiative on childhood cancer.” However, she added, it was not clear whether the $500 million would come from completely new funding, or would include the already allotted funds — a point that she hopes would be clarified by the president’s soon-to-be released 2020 budget.
For now, a senior administration official told KHN “it is common practice that we don’t comment on deliberative or pre-decisional information prior to the release of the President’s FY2020 budget.”
To put it in perspective: The $500 million figure pales in comparison to other medical research initiatives that previous presidents have outlined amid the pomp and circumstance of this annual speech.
Barack Obama announced during his 2016 State of the Union that he wanted to “make America the country that cures cancer once and for all,” launching what came to be known as the “Cancer Moonshot” initiative. In his
That amounts to an average of $500 million over two years.
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But presidents don’t always get all they ask for. In December 2016, Congress passed the
Obama also spearheaded the
By far the largest health-related presidential pledge of the past 15 years was George W. Bush’s 2003 request for funding to end the global HIV/AIDS epidemic. During the
The public health program came to be known as the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR. Averaged out, Bush’s proposed spending was $3 billion a year. (In inflation-adjusted dollars, that would be $4.09 billion today.)
Last year, Trump signed the
According to the American Cancer Society, pediatric cancer makes up
Syndicated from https://khn.org/news/trumps-pediatric-cancer-crusade-a-drop-in-bucket-compared-with-past-presidential-pitches/