Republicans, especially, should pick up on this strategy of cures before care. Instead, most Republicans are singularly focused on repealing the president's health care "reform" law. It should be repealed, or at least experience an extreme makeover, but repealing that law doesn't cure anyone of anything. And here's the double benefit that Obamacare claims for itself, which can never materialize. Finding cures for diseases helps people live healthier lives, and it's cost efficient. Look at the money saved from no longer having to treat victims of polio, smallpox and tuberculosis. Imagine the savings when a cure is eventually found for cancer. Plus, the retirement age could be easily raised as older people work longer and live more vigorous, productive (and tax-generating) lives.
What's not to like about any of this? Republican presidential candidates in 2012 -- and a Republican president should the GOP win that election -- could change the direction and content of the entire health care debate, if they fashioned a strategy for going to the "medical moon" by a certain and attainable date. We are close to a cure for some diseases, but far from a cure for others. Let's begin with those closest to a cure.
Ask yourself: would you rather be healthy and fit and live a long life, or be taken care of in your illness by a government health system that sees you as a burden and is constantly trying to reduce care and lower costs? Ask the English, who are currently experiencing the downside to poor care.
The problem is that once a nation has made a wrong turn, it is difficult if not impossible to reverse course. America still has time to make the right choice and move in the direction of cures. Now all we need is the political leadership to point the way.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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