President Obama made many promises during his presidential campaign, but to me there were none more important than his promise to relieve the physical suffering of Americans. On this front, his two biggest promises were to create a universal health care system and to overturn George Bush's misguided executive order restricting stem cell research.
I'm disappointed that Obama has yet to begin addressing our nation's health care crisis. The delay in naming a new HHS Secretary and/or health care czar could set back much needed reforms by months or even years. But I understand that necessary reform will be a serious and time consuming political fight.
What is unconscionable is Obama's failure to fulfill his promise on stem cell research. The Obama campaign promised to immediately overturn Bush's order restricting research. Unlike with legislation, there is nothing preventing Obama from taking action on an executive order. The stem cell research ban could literally be overturned in a matter of hours.
Stem cell research holds the possibility of finding a treatment for Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, diabetes, and a host of physical disabilities. It may eventually improve the lives of millions of Americans who suffer from debilitating illnesses. Some may say that it has "only" been a month and we should be patient. But if it is you, your parents, or your children suffering, a month can be a very long time.