"Running late on the EARLY Act." Breast Cancer Will Have To Wait.
Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz was the prime mover behind the EARLY Act--that's an acronym for Breast Cancer Education and Awareness Requires Learning Young.
As Wasserman-Schultz, herself a breast cancern survivor at a young age, observes:
In 2008, the American Cancer Society estimated that there would be 182,460 new cases of breast cancer in women. Of these cases, more than 10,000 – 11,000 of these women would be under 40 years of age. Although the incidence of breast cancer in young women is much lower than that of older women, young women's breast cancers are generally more aggressive, are diagnosed at a later stage, and result in lower survival rates. In fact, breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in young women under the age of 40.
So there's plenty of reason to think that this is a laudable bill with an important purpose.
But as Lt. Columbo on the old TV show might say, "There's just one thing." And that is, can the federal government actually accomplish all the goals that it sets out for itself? It's nice that lawmakers come up with laws with good-sounding titles, and noble purposes, but just isn't so obvious that the government knows how to get these things done. As the BP oil spill reminds us, there can be a wide gap between what the government says that it is doing and what it gets done.
That was the lesson of a piece by Sarah Kliff in Politico, headlined, "Running late on the EARLY Act," reports:
Although it’s racing to roll out consumer-friendly aspects of the health care law before November’s midterm elections, the Obama administration has just missed the deadlines to set up task forces on breast cancer and health care in Alaska.
The health care law required Health and Human Services to establish the breast cancer task force by last weekend and the Alaska task force by the first week of May. But sources familiar with the situation said the department isn’t even close to having the two panels ready.
So the government missed a deadline. Will there be any consequences for the bureaucrats who missed that deadline? And will there be any consequences for the politicians who concoct grand legislation, without seeming to worry so much as to whether or not the legislation actually works as promised?
We desperately need accountability and feedback in the government. Accountability for failure, and feedback, as in a learning process, so that we can figure out what is and is not working. We know, now, about federal competence in the BP oil spill. And thanks to Politico, we are learning, now, about federal competence in the area of women's health.