NIH Funding Critical for Cancer ‘Moon Shot’

During his last State of the Union address, President Obama uttered a statement that elicited rare cheers from lawmakers in both parties.

“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,” the president said Tuesday.

Obama said he would appoint Vice President Joe Biden, who lost his son Beau to cancer in May, as head of “mission control.”

Cancer advocates cheered the goal of a “moon shot” to a cure, and said the best path is consistent funding for the National Institutes of Health. They also stressed that the complexity of the disease could lead to a long wait.

NIH received an extra $2 billion in its budget for fiscal 2016 thanks partly to lobbying from Biden.