Some Democrats, such as Michael Dukakis, the Democratic presidential nominee in 1988 and a former governor of Massachusetts, said the issue for Obamacare is in part one of framing.

Democrats “have not done a very good job” of emphasizing that the law benefits working families most, Dukakis said. “There are a lot of middle class folks with no health insurance or very poor health insurance.”

“If you ask Republicans whether working Americans should have decent affordable health care, they would say yes,” he said.

Dukakis, who now teaches at Northeastern University in Boston, said the Massachusetts health-care system, the model for Obamacare, is “working beautifully” after dealing with startup problems, and the national system can, too.

Representative Sander Levin, a Michigan Democrat, said Republicans will fail if they try to exploit the flawed rollout, citing their unsuccessful efforts to privatize Social Security and the popularity of federal programs such as Medicare and the interstate highway system.