Corker Tells Former Canadian Minister That Her Country Has A ‘Parasitic Relationship’ With The U.S.


One of the most ardent opponents of health care reform has been Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), who has called it “a train wreck.” During a health care town hall, Corker told the audience, “The majority of the people in this country are waking up and realizing that we have a government that is out of control.”

Corker took his opposition to health care reform to new heights yesterday when he insulted a former Canadian Public Health Minister by telling her that her country, which has universal health care, has a “parasitic relationship” with the United States because of its supposedly inferior health care technology:

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.”

While Corker is busy insulting other countries that we have a lot to learn from when it comes to health care, he’s also wrong on his facts. Although attacking the Canadian and European health care systems is a common tactic for conservatives, the fact remains that these countries have been leading health care innovators time and time again.

Canada brought the world insulin, developed bone marrow transplantation, and conducts more lung transplant surgeries than the United States. Meanwhile, of the twenty most profitable pharmaceutical manufacturers, only nine are from the United States — the rest are from western Europe, Japan, and Israel, all of which have universal health care systems that Corker so is opposed to.