On the Issues
Cancer Moonshot Initiative
Vice President Biden led the National Cancer Moonshot Initiative which raised funding for the National Institutes of Health by $2 billion, including a $264 million boost specifically for the National Cancer Institute.
During his time representing Delaware in the Senate, Biden introduced the Nursing Education Opportunities Act (S. 2230) and cosponsored both the Nurse Reinvestment Act (S. 1864) and the Nurse-Managed Health Clinic Investment Act of 2007 (S. 2112).
S. 2230 would have expanded the nurse student loan program and establish grant programs to address the nursing shortage. S.1864 would have similarly established a Nurse Corps to address recruitment and retention strategies to address the nursing shortage. S. 2112 would have established the Nurse-Managed Health Clinic Investment program to address underserved or vulnerable populations and are associated with a school, college, or nursing department, federally qualified health center, or independent nonprofit health or social services agency. Only S. 1864 passed the Senate and none of the bills were passed into law.
Health Care Reform
When Biden ran for president in 2007, he proposed expanding programs that cover low-income children, letting older Americans (individuals above 55 years of age) buy into Medicare, and creating a new government program that younger, uninsured Americans could purchase.
Additional Health Care Information
The vice president frequently mentions the importance of nurses from his experience during his son’s battle with brain cancer.
In a 2013 speech during Mental Health Awareness Week, the Vice President noted that “Doctors might save your life, but its nurses that make you want to live, and if there’s any angels in heaven, by the way, they’re all nurses.” He gave similar remarks in a speech dedicated to hospice nurses in Atlanta in May 2018.
In April 2019, Biden hosted a forum at the University of Pennsylvania on the opioid crisis where he called on the government to change its view of addiction, saying it has failed to effectively deal with the opioid crisis. “Many politicians believe addiction is a matter of willpower, leading to a lack of funding for opioid prevention policies,” Biden added. “It’s a disease — it’s a disease of the brain.” Biden would later call the opioid crisis a national emergency and decried the over-prescription of opioids by American doctors, as well as the “greed” of drug companies.