Vice President Joe Biden's 'moonshot' initiative to defeat cancer - an outline which will be written by political staffers and delivered a month before the Obama administration leaves office - received support from 50 percent of Americans, according to a survey funded by Research!America.
Not really a surprise, nearly half of Americans support more taxes on lots of things and may not realize we first began the War on Cancer during the Nixon administration over 40 years ago.
In the survey, support for more taxes to go toward government work on cancer was predictably along political lines, with Democrats 67% for it while Republicans (38%) and Independents (39%) are not.
Twelve percent were unsure and 38 percent thought more taxes were a bad idea. What will surprise on one; both sides will claim to be more science literate, Democrats because they want to give more money and Republicans because they recognize you can't cure cancer.
Money counts, of course, and a small amount if palatable to almost everyone. More than half (57%) say they are willing to pay if it cost them less than $50 per year in taxes (60% of Republicans, 58% of Independents and 54% of Democrats) but only 28% were willing to pay more.
For $50 a year, not much will improve, since the National Institutes of Health alone already gets nearly $30 billion annually. Nonetheless, the White House Task Force on cancer, led by Vice President Biden, will make recommendations on how to expand clinical trials, improve data, identify unnecessary regulatory burdens, and explore public-private partnerships to accelerate the pace of cancer research.
Then they will be out of office. President Obama canceled the space program of his predecessor George W. Bush, to replace it with a program bearing his name, and if his successor follows that course, this effort could go nowhere, despite the willingness of Americans to advance the cause of science and health.