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

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

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="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. Emily

    Sir, have you ever heard of a little country called "China?"


    Our country would literally be in shambles if it weren't for China. (India, to a slightly lesser degree, as well). If it weren't for China and India, where else would we get all of our goods that are oh-so-readily available in Wal-Marts and Targets across the nation?

    Bring the manufactoring base back to the United States, and then maybe I'll listen to your whining about other countries riding off of our success.

    September 30, 2009 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  2. Cindy

    I think it's because, the US has always had this "go it alone" attitude towards the world. We want to send our troups out to protect our interests, without cooperation from other countries. It's high time the US realized we are all in this together, and not place ourselves on a pedistal above everyone else.

    Canada and France are not parasitic. They're being smart... smarter than us. Deal with it, Senator... intelligently, not egotistically.

    September 30, 2009 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  3. Preco

    Bob Corker ..."You lie!!!!

    September 30, 2009 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  4. Franklin

    Little Bob is a dimwitted moron. He needs to shut his pie hole.

    September 30, 2009 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  5. Joe

    not wrong, but counterproductive

    September 30, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  6. Minnesota Liberal

    Typical overly-Republican xenophobia. "The foreigners benefit from us!" First off, there are plenty of medical breakthroughs and research from foreign countries that we've used to. Second, the AMERICAN companies that fund the research are the ones who sell it in France and Canada, so our companies are the parasites living off the Canadian dollar. Third, who CARES if their citizens can get healthy off our research? We're all human, except for this Corker moron.

    September 30, 2009 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  7. Amy from MN

    Let me get this sounds to me like Corker wants to prevent American business from exporting their medical technology that they spent money on for R&D? Wow!

    September 30, 2009 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  8. Blair

    Oh God...sometimes you really need to just stop talking...and this would be one of those times.

    September 30, 2009 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  9. CB

    I can't wait until they show us how deep this politician is in the pockets of the Pharms and Insurance industries!

    September 30, 2009 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  10. OldUncleTom

    I seem to remember another Tennessee Republican who was not a real bright feller... but he played one on TV.

    September 30, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  11. Sniffit

    Actually, we've been lagging in innovation for years now and can no longer claim status as the leader of the pack in many areas of medicine. For example, France performed the first face transplant. But hey, this is a GOPer we're talking about here, what in god's name do facts have to do with anything if we can stir up a modicum of xenophobia?

    September 30, 2009 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  12. Lila

    This has got to be one of the dumbest comments I've heard in this "debate" so far.

    PS-I personally have met people who have traveled to these evil places with socialized medicine and have been treated. For Free.

    And this is a slap to the face of every doctor/hospital abroad who has treated an American patient.

    September 30, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  13. Al

    Corker really has no brain whatsoever. And we wonder why so many countries detest us? Corker is an embarassment to our great country!

    September 30, 2009 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  14. donttreadonme


    The United States is a leader in medical innovation. The nonindustrial sector spent three times as much as Europe per capita on biomedical research.

    Check your facts!

    September 30, 2009 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  15. NJ

    Really. I think they had a break through in AIDS research just last week. That research was done in Asia.

    September 30, 2009 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  16. Chris

    The U.S. has continually helped nearly every country in the world only to have most of them kick sand in our face. It's cost us taxpayers billions of dollars to help people in other countries when the taxpayers could have kept that money in their pockets. This is the same problems with paying welfare and healthcare to those who refuse to go out and work, to go out and exercise to stay healthy, to quit having babies by the basketfull. The taxpayers is simply tired of raising one generation after another of people who do not contribute in any positive fashion whatsoever to this countries good health. This is the problem with the Dems healthcare plan, they want to keep these lazy people on the welfare and healthcare plans when they should have run out of benefits. Why does an unemployed person run out of benefits yet someone on welfare does not? Good question for someone to answer --- put limits on these moochers.

    September 30, 2009 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  17. Sniffit

    Someone put baby's binky back in baby's mouth...he's talking crazy and starting to cry again.

    September 30, 2009 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  18. Alex

    Is this guy serious? What an embarrassment!

    September 30, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  19. donttreadonme

    The United States spends three times as much as Europe per capita on biomedical research!

    This is the truth! Research it yourself.

    September 30, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  20. Reformed Republican

    Dear France and Canada...

    Please forgive the public embarrasment that Corker and the other rethuglicons are causing this country and it's citizens.

    Corker and the rest of the GOP don't play well with others and are given to fits of mouth diaherrea. They think offending our most trusted allies makes them look patriotic – Go figure.

    I'm sure you have your village idiots as well but fortunately you don't elect as many of them to public office like we do. We're doing our best to clean things up but it's a slow process. In the mean time please judge real Americans by how Pres. Obama and company treat you and ignore these cornpone politicians waving Confederate flags – they are morns all...

    September 30, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  21. MT

    So lets here an educated response LIBERALS!

    Ever been a business leader, invested capital in R&D? No I thought not! Hey Pete – For every one pharamceutical patent that results in a viable product there are over forty that fail. Who do you think has to pay for the research? That success percentage is less than 2.5% for you Liberals that can't do math because you were educated by a teachers Union School. I doubt any of you have any business accumen, you are all too busy crying about what you don't have, everything should be a "right" and standing in line for your handout to be "invested" in anything but yourselves.

    What has CANADA or FRANCE ever invented?

    Are either of them current industry leaders in anything?

    Name a large medical university in Canada?

    How about a cancer research facility? Seattle WA has eleven!

    When is the last time a Canadian or a Frenchman spoke out an any UN conference? Nope they are silent and in the back hiding behind whatever country they can find!

    September 30, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  22. cfoster

    Real health care reform that the GOP should help with instead of use lies to try to stop. Corker is just mad because Canada and France has a better system. I think the GOP owes all Americans an apology for lies that they have spread about health care..

    September 30, 2009 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  23. NVa Native

    "an organism that obtains nourishment and shelter on another organism", "Parasites can cause harm or disease to their host. They are generally much smaller than their hosts." Sounds exactly like the idiot Corker!
    They're all parasites ~ all the rest of the republicans, tea-baggers, birthers, Fox media, hate radio, etc.

    September 30, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  24. Sniffit

    I love how GOPers are citing our overinvestment in redundant pharmaceutical research (the greatest portion of biomedical research because it's a get-rich-quick type thing) as proof we're somehow accomplishing more than the rest of the world when (a) there is no correlation between how much is spent and how much is accomplished and (b) redundant pharmaceuticals are one of the greatest contributors to the skyrocketing inflation of health care costs.

    Irony 1,000,010: GOP 0

    September 30, 2009 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  25. jon

    Senator Corker, the only parasitic thing here is your shameless support of insurance companies and their policies that kill thousands of Americans every year. Passing the buck to other countries is not only dishonest, it's down right slimy.

    September 30, 2009 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
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