By Elise Viebeck - 09/23/13 09:10 PM EDT
Former President Clinton predicted the public will embrace ObamaCare when the law is fully implemented and lowers health insurance costs.
Clinton blamed Republicans for the law's unpopularity in an interview set to air Monday, arguing that the GOP doesn't want to "help make healthcare both available and more affordable."
"The only thing that will change public opinion is when it works," Clinton told PBS Newshour, referring to the healthcare law.
Clinton has emerged of one of the most effective spokesmen for ObamaCare as federal health officials prepare to launch the new insurance exchanges.
The former president won praise from the left for a speech touting the Affordable Care Act earlier this month.
He'll appear with President Obama at the Clinton Global Initiative to discuss the reform again this week.
In the interview, Clinton compared ObamaCare's rollout to the implementation of Medicare Part D, the popular prescription drug benefit for seniors.
"We also know that for all of the attacks on health care, it is less unpopular than President Bush’s Medicare drug program was when it started, and there were horrible problems with the implementation," Clinton said.
"The Democrats didn’t try to repeal it, even though most of them voted against it. Instead they tried to make it work. That’s what you do with the law. We tried to help."
Republicans are unified in their opposition to the Affordable Care Act, and some are refusing to avert a government shutdown unless the law's funding is taken away.
In total, the House has voted more than 40 times to defund, dismantle or repeal the healthcare law.