Thompson Pledges End to Breast Cancer During His Presidency
Former Secretary of Health and Human Services, Tommy Thompson, pledged today on his Iowa barnstorming campaign tour to end breast cancer by 2015 and outlined a plan to accomplish this goal.
"Three women in my family have been afflicted with cancer, including my daughter and my wife. A healthy family starts with a healthy woman. I am committed to deploying the vast resources of the United States toward the goal of ending breast cancer by 2015 just like President Kennedy committed our nation to the moon," said Thompson.
"We'll start with breast cancer and then attack every major cancer one after the other. There's no candidate in either party more prepared and more motivated to lead this effort than me," said Thompson.
Thompson's plan calls on a public-private approach that utilizes resources from the federal government, private drug companies, University research centers and hospitals.
The key points to the plan include:
1) Recruit a successful corporate executive to lead a team of doctors, researchers, nurses and breast cancer victims who will be charged with setting benchmark goals and making recommendations for research funding.
2) Establish fifteen $10 million prizes for corporations, Universities or research centers that solve benchmark problems related to curing breast cancer.
3) Double the budget of the National Institute of Health to $56 billion from its current level of $28 billion. Direct the additional funding to worthy public and private research projects.
4) Travel to key countries in the world recruiting their governments and research universities to join the effort. Tommy Thompson will re-establish America's leadership role and do it with medical and health care breakthroughs.
5) Create an open source research community on the Internet where research can be organized and discussions can be conducted with experts. This online community will be a centralized repository for research where all of the world's people can contribute their time, money or expertise toward helping with this global fight.
"As Secretary, I was able to make a difference by helping seniors with prescription drugs. Now I want to make a difference for people everywhere by leading one of the most important battles our nation has ever undertaken," said Thompson. "I know that there are treatments and potential remedies that we may not be considering in the United States. It's essential that this be a global fight with the best minds from across the globe engaged in the effort."
"Here's the bottom line: The only way to expedite the cures to these diseases that end so many lives is for the President of the United States to set a goal and motivate our government and private companies to reach it. We can afford to do it and it's the right thing to do," said Thompson.
Thompson's wife, Sue Ann Thompson, is a national leader in the battle against breast cancer and established the Wisconsin Women's Health Foundation. She also received an award from the Congressional Families for Cancer Awareness in 1998.