The Kaiser Family Foundation released their latest round of tracking polling on how the public feels about health care reform. There's a lot of great data in the full set of charts [pdf].
What struck me most was the series having to do with how people think health care reform will affect them, versus their fellow Americans. For example, 59% think the country will do better after health care reform is passed (and 19% say there won't be any change), while 38% feel health care reform will make their lives better (and 43% think there will be no change).
The same goes when you ask people about cost, quality, choice, and wait times, as you can see below. Less people think health care reform will make their lives better than who think it will make the country's lives better, though a clear majority either think their lives will get better or at least not change.
This is exactly why Obama's health care plan (and Health Care for America Now's health care plan) can become a reality.
In the past, opponents of health care reform have used fear to prevent change. They say (and they will say this time around) that health care reform will make your health care worse. Usually they do this by saying it will ration care (ie. lower quality), but wait times, less choice, or higher costs are all potential attacks. The point is, they argue and will argue that reform will hurt you, and specifically, your care.
This time around, it's an argument that falls flat on its face. Our idea of health care reform would allow you to keep the health care you have, no change whatsoever. And so even if the public doesn't believe health care reform will make their care better, they know they have the choice to keep what they have if they like.
It's a powerful argument, and one of the main reasons health care reform can pass this time.