Personal Tragedy Used to Justify another Government Boondoggle

From the President’s State of the Union address:

Last year, Vice President Biden said that with a new moonshot, America can cure cancer. Last month, he worked with this Congress to give scientists at the National Institutes of Health the strongest resources they’ve had in over a decade. Tonight, I’m announcing a new national effort to get it done. And because he’s gone to the mat for all of us, on so many issues over the past forty years, I’m putting Joe in charge of Mission Control. For the loved ones we’ve all lost, for the family we can still save, let’s make America the country that cures cancer once and for all.

Medical research is critical.

That is the script that was released. But Time Magazine reported on how it was delivered by President Obama.

This comment got enormous applause, as the President turned to Biden and went off script, saying, “What do you say, Joe?” Biden gave him a thumbs up, to more applause. “Let’s make it happen,” President Obama said.

There is no idea too idiotic to become a justification for more spending, and no tragedy too personal to be used as a way to sell it to the public.

Joe Biden suffered a horrible loss, but it shouldn’t be used to push the lie that the government can kill cancer.

Cancer is not even one thing. Brain cancer may not have the same cure as other cancers. There is no reason the think that there is a single cure for “cancer.”

We already give companies monopolies on the drugs they develop. Are you telling me that they don’t already have enough incentive to develop a cure if one is possible.

On the other hand, what if there is an easy means of prevention that involves natural products that can’t be patented? Putting money into a cure may be distracting us from ways to really save lives.

And by the way, when you have the resources of a superpower, a moonshot is not that hard. You have to send a missile at a target. The fact that we can waste money that way tells us nothing about our alleged ability to cure cancer.

And countries and governments don’t invent things or make medical breakthroughs. People do that.

The government, on the other hand, has a poor record in health science.