In a panel discussion at the Brookings Institute on April 28, 2009 four experts spoke about the differences and similarities between the U.S. and France. To be specific, the topic of social democracy and Obama’s “revolution,” and how it is similar to what France has already implemented in their government.
This new idea of changing the current U.S. system into a social democracy has been called the “Obama revolution” and involves the popular topic of universal healthcare for all U.S. citizens. The panel had made a point to say that it was a good idea for the U.S. to implement a more universal healthcare system. In France, the average person lives longer and is also very happy with the high quality of healthcare. Although it was also pointed out that in recent polls taken, many people in the U.S. did not want to front the bill for such a system that would include those who would otherwise not be able to pay for healthcare. It seemed that when confronted with the idea of healthcare for all, many people were happy about the idea, but when asked if they were comfortable with paying higher taxes to make sure everyone could have this, less than 50% said they would like it.
In addition to talking about healthcare reform, the panel mentioned the fact that the French also have a free Pre-Kindergarten system for all children. This could be another possibility for the U.S. if it decided to continue with the idea of a social democracy since the schooling would also be funded by the state.