September 30th, 2009
05:06 PM ET
5 years ago

Corker: Canada, France have 'parasitic relationship' with US

Sen. Bob Corker suggested that Canada and France have a 'parasitic relationship with the US.
Sen. Bob Corker suggested that Canada and France have a 'parasitic relationship with the US.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Republican Sen. Bob Corker suggested Wednesday that when it comes to health care, Canada and France have a "parasitic relationship" towards the United States.

During a hearing of the Special Committee on Aging, the Tennessee Republican told Canada's former Public Health Minister, Dr. Carolyn Bennett, that her country is "living off of us" because they set lower prices for health care and "all the innovation, all the technology breakthroughs just about take place in our country and we have to pay for it."

"It is not really our country so much is the problem, it's sort of the parasitic relationship that Canada, and France, and other countries have towards us," Corker said. "...You benefit from us, and we pay for that. And I resent that, and I want to figure out a way to solve that."


Filed under: Bob Corker • Canada • Health care
soundoff (139 Responses)
  1. JiminNJ

    I am impressed with all of the innovation that comes out of Corker's home state, and not to mention the education level and high test scores. No wonder they elected this guy.

    September 30, 2009 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  2. from the middle

    Too bad politicians noses don't grow when they tell tall tales!

    September 30, 2009 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  3. Barbara

    Corker–put a Cork in it! What a total embarrassment. I ask you two questions: have you ever been to Canada? and do you pay for your own health care?

    Bet the answers are NO and NO.

    September 30, 2009 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  4. Greg Smith

    One word – Penicillin.

    September 30, 2009 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  5. donttreadonme

    If you like France and Canada so much why not move their.

    They have pretty lax immigration laws!

    September 30, 2009 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  6. A7M

    He is simply wrong. Scientific breakthoughs rely on communal efforts and knowledge–scientists invent something based on inventions of other scientists. This means that medical innovations depend on the amount of money spent on research in each country, including Canada and France. In this country, from 2000 to 2008, republicans decreased money for medical research (because there is not money left except for war). France and Canda, on the other hand, maintained funding for research.

    Corker simply appeals to republican morons who don't know facts. All republicans are whining brats who think they were robbed by someone.

    September 30, 2009 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  7. economist

    Gee, Corker, maybe if we could import drugs from Canada, then maybe we wouldn't be "subsidizing" them, huh? And, also, gee, don't the profits from selling all those drugs end up with American companies? Do you think maybe Pfizer and Lily should move to Canada and France? You know, France could use a good pharmaceutical since, of course, they don't have one - I believe Aventis makes wine and cheese or something.

    September 30, 2009 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  8. michael

    Actually the problem is the FDA that makes the companies pay to do test after test to ensure the drugs are safe while other countries are already allowing the drugs to be used. It is these costs that get past down to us.

    September 30, 2009 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  9. Anonymous Al

    MT said: Name a large medical university in Canada?

    The College of Medicine at...

    The University of British Columbia
    The University of Calgary
    The University of Alberta
    The University of Saskatchewan
    The University of Manitoba
    The Northern Ontario School of Medicine
    The University of Toronto
    Memorial University

    ...just to name a few

    September 30, 2009 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  10. DJ

    Yeah because of idiots like Sen. Porker.

    September 30, 2009 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  11. Phat Elvis

    Smoke and Mirrors, Corker, that's all you have. Not that it matters but you should know that pasteurization was invented by and Frenchman. so much for parasites

    September 30, 2009 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  12. Tony In Largo

    First, lets' make sure we don't hire this guy to work in the Diplomatic Corps.

    While we have invented many things, many others things we use are made overseas, like Cellphone Technology, Dry Chemistry Blood Glucose and Urine testing in Germany; Automated Lab Blood Analyzers in Japan; Electron Scanning Microscope in Switzerland. etc I could go on forever and bore the reader but I won't

    Mr. Corker is not very well informed. I suspect Mr. Corker is a Porker of the Health Insurance Industry like someone already stated here.

    This sounds like the Big Insurance Industry is afraid that the days of raking in profits with very little responsibility if any, are over, and they're reaching for straws through their Law Firm, the Republican Party.

    I'm glad to hear that, because it heralds that the start of a new era brought about by the present administration.

    September 30, 2009 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  13. Randy, Vancouver BC

    So, let me get this straight? When you cannot find a logical reason to provide basic medical services to every adult and child in America, you blame it all on Canada and France? Did I get that right? Is Senator Corker the long-lost brother of Sarah Palin, by any chance? He sure sounds like it. Photogenic, but stupid as a bag of rusty hammers and crazier than a homeless outhouse rat. Scuse me, I have to run off and pay my $50 medical plan bill for next month. Let's see, that gets me everything I need to have regular checkups, support for my diabetes, and complete medical coverage of any form of cancer or heart disease I might get. However, here's a simple truth Canadians don't talk about much: if I don't want to wait in line for treatment back-logged due to huge demand, I can go to the US, and the government of my province will pick up a significant portion of the tab, while those people in your country who cannot afford the treatment–get sicker and eventually die. God bless America, and all the stupid inbred GOP fascist pigs who make it such a fascinating study in the lost art of socio-economic hypocrisy.

    September 30, 2009 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  14. Matt5687

    Its this kind of ignorance that makes people outside the US hate America so much. Canada and France are two of our closest international friends and we shouldn't be treating them this way. People like this make Americans look bad and Americans should be embarassed by this man!

    September 30, 2009 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  15. CB

    "The United States spends three times as much as Europe per capita on biomedical research!" How much of that is in advertising dollars to sell us drugs we don't need or want? There is a direct relationship on research dollars spent for advertising and marketing drugs. How many varieties of viagra does a man need? How many varieties of cholesterol inhibitors? They spend it on research to market it as the next new miracle drug, when real research shows, its all a scam.

    September 30, 2009 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  16. Anthony

    I am Canadian and my Father is American. I can tell you... I love the USA, love the people and love the culture. This idiot's rant will not change that.

    I respect Obama's position on health care and hope the USA wins and gets public health care... that is what this is all about.

    I feel sorry for politicians that deflect the issues, blame others for the problems they create and try to sway the public in the wrong direction with distraction tactics.

    I am supportive of free speach when it comes to this politician and all americans but I am appalled at his obvious attempt at misdirecting the government's failure to provide basic health care through blaming other countries.

    Come on people... you need health care, start pushing your politicians to do the right thing.

    September 30, 2009 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  17. Moe, NY

    Canada and France are light years ahead of America with their Universal Health Care, and everyone knows it! It appears that Corker is just another GOP loon who does not know what he is talking about. Obviously, this man sides with the insurance companies in this country. This is, also, another example of the GOP having NO DIPLOMACY SKILLS. He, Corker, just embarrassed not only himself (probably doesn't evern realize it), but America and the American people as well.

    September 30, 2009 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  18. D. Tree

    This guy has no clue. I wonder if this guy has even BEEN to France or Canada, his views are so isolationist.

    September 30, 2009 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  19. Dan

    He is simply basically right.
    Canada and France etc. also rely on the US defense budget and afford spending less on it, while complaining about the US. (In fact, complaining is even becoming a way of life for the leftists in these and similar countries, they do not have to live in reality: the US is protecting them and they complain about it... what is right on defense is right on innovation in health!).

    September 30, 2009 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  20. Boisepoet

    Wonder if he is concerned about the parasitic relationship we have with Saudi Arabia or China...nawwwwww....

    September 30, 2009 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  21. Dan Canadian

    As a Canadian I don't feel offended. On the other hand if you get the GOP talking trash about you, you must be doing something right!!!

    September 30, 2009 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  22. James

    This guy is out of touch with reality.
    Bill O'Reilly sounds much liberal nowadays compared with other republicans.

    September 30, 2009 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  23. AntiRush

    A follow up. As an American, I am embarrassed by some of the comments here from the ignorant people who think that America does everything, the rest of the world does nothing. Spending alot of money means nothing. And for the person who wanted to know what France has done lately. How about win the Nobel prize in 2008 for discovering the virus that causes AIDS. Of course, Republicans believe that AIDS is a disease that they couldn't catch, because they live the RIGHT life. Just don't get a blood transfusion.

    September 30, 2009 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  24. We Won Get Over It

    Goodness I wish these republicans would crawl back into the slime from wince they came...can they get any more rude, crude and common.

    September 30, 2009 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  25. An Ex-NC-Pub

    What an absolute brainless idiot!

    September 30, 2009 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
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