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. larry

    8 years of the republicans sucking the american peoples morals lifes and moneys dry is enough!

    September 30, 2009 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  2. The new GOP party of NO, racism, and hate is emerging and least you Rightwing NUTS forget, Bush had 47 Czars

    Let's try to make sense of what Bob Corker is saying with this Palinsque speak!

    So the USof A is creating all the innovation, all the technological breakthroughs for healthcare and Canada and France are just adopting or using those or innovation to lower their healthcare cost!?!

    So why can't the USA use the same technolgies to lower healthcare cost here in the United States?! me!!! – is this dimwit Bob Corker aking sense; or this is just one of those southern drawl...can't really understand his logic!!!!

    September 30, 2009 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  3. Emily

    PS: McGill is in CANADA, if you couldn't figure that one out.

    Oh, and I'm a liberal and I do stem cell research for a company that is eons behind its European and Asian counterparts due to years of NO federal funding because I "kill babies." Right on!

    September 30, 2009 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  4. MCD, SF, CA

    OMG! Did he have a stroke or something? This man is a Senator? Wow, just Wow!!

    September 30, 2009 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  5. jeff

    A counter point,
    much medical R&D also takes place in Germany and Switzerland, countries that have the "evil" universal health care and the "parasitic" lower costs.
    Corker needs to do more research before he calls other countries parasites, oh wait, that research would destroy his argument.

    September 30, 2009 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  6. jeff

    Bayer, a german company, makes much more than just Asprin, they conduct research both here and in Germany, so his argument just doesn't hold much water. Just because the French and Canadians don't conduct much medical research, doesn't mean that it only takes place in the US. there are many other advanced countries in the world

    September 30, 2009 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  7. A Disgusted Canadian

    Gee, I wonder if he has ever visited Canada? Probably not, or he wouldn't make such an ignorant comment about another country. For his information, Canadian medical researchers are recognized around the world. Finally, at least Canadians don't have to declare bankruptcy if they get sick!

    September 30, 2009 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  8. Abdur Rahman Hugo-Tobbo

    that statement is simplistic and nonsensical, Senator Corker, what the majority of American expect from the GOP is the get on with the health care issues and help Pres OBAMA to bring about decent health care in the USA not cheap shot toward other countries, i was born in France, that said, the health care system in France is universal as well as state run, is also better and cheaper than the current American system.

    September 30, 2009 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  9. jeff

    One final point, take a look at any MRI, CT or X-ray machine, chances are quite good that the name on them is Siemens, a German company.

    September 30, 2009 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  10. Minnesotan

    More lies from a Republican. Nothing new here. Sheesh, these guys couldn't tell the truth or a fact if it hit them in the face!

    September 30, 2009 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  11. ATL Guy

    People actually fall for this level of shameless ignorance? Is this the best the Republicans can come up with? Blame France for our health care problems? I have yet to hear one Republican say something tough to one of the insurance companies that are bankrupting people every single day. Yet they want to yell at France. Shameless.

    September 30, 2009 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  12. James

    I wonder if it has something to do with you likening their healthcare systems to Nazi Germany... hmm.

    September 30, 2009 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  13. Mike C. from Canada


    Mr. Corker, who I am sure has a very good and secure health care package courtesy of the good people of America, seeks to deflect focus on the health care problems facing many Americans by creating a "boogeyman" in either Canada or France. I in Canada work very hard and knowing my tax dollars go towards education and health care (among other things) to benefit ALL CANADIANS makes me proud. You should try and ensure that ALL AMERICANS have access to at least some form of basic care.

    No, Mr. Corker, I do not benefit from YOU. But YOU, certainly, benefit from your fellow Americans.

    September 30, 2009 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  14. dub

    Wow... nice neighbours.

    For my money, the bottom line in health care is who lives longest. Check out the CIA World Fact Book on longevity. Why is it that:
    a) the American average life expectancy is 78.11 (50th in the world)
    b) the French average life expectancy is 80.98 (9th in the world)
    c) the Canadian average life expectancy is 81.23 (8th in the world)

    Has anyone ever wondered what the added economic benefit would be if the US population lived an additional 3.1 years longer. If you're looking for a 'right-wing' reason to 'invest' in health care... I'm thinking you might want to start there.

    September 30, 2009 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  15. Party Purity will never bring Political Power!

    The inmates are definitely in charge of the republican asylum!

    Is this what happens when the Circus has no ring master to control these freaks?

    September 30, 2009 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  16. J.C.Cosgrove

    Could someone put a cork in his mouth. When it comes to health care he is clueless about healyh care in Canada and the Western world.I really don't envy the American healyh care system.

    September 30, 2009 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  17. gary

    i believe this moron's opinion is exactly why most countries around the world grew to hate the USA when bush,cheney and the other republican retards were in charge.Could you imagine the republican uproar if a Canadian offical made such a remark towards Americans. This idiot should apoligize.

    September 30, 2009 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  18. Simmy

    Cut to the chase, Simmy........Vous etes jealous of P. Sarko, PM Harper and President Obama.....Policies have nothing to do with it.....Stop using issues as covering for your mass inadequacies.....They're a dynamic trio....All you've got is Hong Kong Sue with her non writing self.....We, the intellectuals, know that she reads and delivers pre-written text okl......I dare them to let Katie Couric loose on her again (laughing)....

    September 30, 2009 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  19. joe

    are their any NORMAL republicans out there?

    September 30, 2009 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |

    What kind of STUPID idiotic comment is that?

    Isn't Canada one of our allies on the war on terror?

    Haven't Canadians lost their lives fighting the cause with America?

    Who in the hell voted for him? Oh, Tennessee. That is the South. Right??????????

    September 30, 2009 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  21. Jean from the Prairies, Canada

    Considering the 'cross-pollination' that goes on in academia and in industry a country can rarely claim responsibility for an invention...any development builds upon previous discoveries and usually involves collaboration with others. People who claim otherwise are showing their ignorance.

    September 30, 2009 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  22. Buddy Gilmour

    CNN thanks for printing that classic, I just had the best laugh in a long time. I'm not sure about health care technology, I think ours probably is the best, but we are certainly leading the world in idiocy. The sad thing is the idiocy of our elected officials is symptomatic of the decline of our culture, society, and nation.

    September 30, 2009 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  23. grammarian

    America's white lower middle class is angry that countries like France and Canada have better health care. Look at the protesters shouting down health care reform at townhall meetings – what a bunch of lardasses. There's less of that in France or Canada. As for Sen. Corker, he's like a Walmart salesman tossing hogjowls to a fat angry mob.

    September 30, 2009 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  24. JonDie

    What a moron this Corker fellow is. But then again, he's a Republican, so what do you expect?

    September 30, 2009 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  25. Ola Vincent

    This guy is a moron and needs immediate help.

    September 30, 2009 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
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