Protect Your Care to defend government healthcare programs in TV ads

MANCHESTER, N.H. — The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has been a bête noire among much of the Republican party since President Obama signed it into law. But as GOP presidential candidates prepared for the first official debate in Manchester, N.H., one group launched a series of ads defending it and other programs to address the nation’s health coverage gap.

Protect Your Care will launch its first TV ad to defend Medicare, Medicaid, Romneycare — the healthcare-reform law that presidential candidate Mitt Romney signed while governor of Massachusetts — and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Other efforts will include online ads, visibility efforts around Manchester, rapid response and fact checking.

Republicans have called for deep cuts to Medicare and Medicaid in recent months amid the national debate over deficit spending. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., proposed to replace Medicare with a voucher system that many critics derided as “vouchercare” and a poor substitute for the current system.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, spending on Medicare is expected to reach 8% of the country’s GDP by 2035, and 15% by 2080, while Medicaid spending is expected to reach 5% by 2035, and 7% by 2080.