The American Cancer Society’s attempting to involve itself in Missouri’s U.S. Senate race.
The organization commissioned a poll of likely voters to determine how they feel about cancer research funding. The polling, which was conducted by Republican and Democratic affiliated research firms, showed 77 percent favored increased federal spending on medical research, while 80 said the need was urgent.
Stacy Reliford with the American Cancer Society Action Network says the organization asked the state’s major party Senate candidates for their positions on fighting the disease. “What we were looking at is races that are really going to impact how the Senate functions next year, and obviously, I think everyone agrees that Missouri is one of those” said Reliford. “It’s an important, high profile race. We would love them to be talking about cancer research funding”.
Reliford says both incumbent Republican Roy Blunt and Democratic challenger Jason Kander expressed general support for increases to research spending. “Cancer is not a partisan issue, and it’s something that we get support from both sides of the aisle on. Everyone has their own personal connection to cancer, and their reason for supporting us.”
Reliford notes there’s bipartisan support from lawmakers in Washington, but more needs to be done. “We saw last December Congress gave the largest increase in funding in more than a decade. But unfortunately, with accounting for medical inflation, the current funding level is well below where it was a decade ago.” Federal money for cancer research in Missouri totaled $471 million last year, which generates 6,000 jobs according to the American Cancer Society.
Both Kander and Blunt were also asked what policies they’d advance to address the cancer problem. Blunt is a cancer survivor. He listed a number of measures he’s supported which dealt with research and treatment of cancer. Kander offered a more general statement. Their full comments are posted cancervotes.org