Congressman Xavier Becerra is one of Washington’s most ardent supporters of Social Security and Medicare.  As a member of the President’s Fiscal Commission (he voted against the destructive Bowles-Simpson plan) and ranking member of the Social Security Subcommittee he is one of seniors’ “good guys” on Capitol Hill.  Today he offered this frank assessment of what the GOP Budget plan proposes for middle-class America and seniors especially: “This isn’t a fiscal document this is a roadmap to poverty for middle-class Americans. This is a manifesto of GOP goals since the days of Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson.  Republicans have drained our surpluses and depleted our resources to convince the public that we must now shrink government." “This is it – this is the real deal.  The fight for our future is on.  It’s time to put our battle armor back on and arm up with the weapons we need – the facts and the true stories about what these vital programs really mean to our nation.” Becerra met with members of the nation’s largest Aging Coalition, the Leadership Council of Aging Organizations, today and described in detail how the GOP Budget would destroy Medicare, replacing it with little more than “coupon care”.  The Congressional Budget Office analysis shows seniors will pay much more for their healthcare – which is no longer guaranteed by the government and instead managed by private insurance companies.   According to the Center for Economic and Policy Research…seniors won’t be paying just a little more, they’ll face $20,000 in additional healthcare costs under the GOP Budget plan… “According to the CBO analysis the benefit would cover 32 percent of the cost of a health insurance package equivalent to the current Medicare benefit (Figure 1). This means that the beneficiary would pay 68 percent of the cost of this package. Using the CBO assumption of 2.5 percent annual inflation, the voucher would have grown to $9,750 by 2030. This means that a Medicare type plan for someone age 65 would be $30,460 under Representative Ryan's plan, leaving seniors with a bill of $20,700. (This does not count various out of pocket medical expenditures not covered by Medicare.)” The GOP’s “Coupon Care” plan for seniors replaces Medicare with a privatized system that gives insurance companies federal dollars to provide less care.  Washington Monthly summed it up best: “I'd just add that some folks may have forgotten why Medicare was created in the first place. The nature of the human body is that ailments are more common as we get older, and profit-seeking insurance companies weren't keen on covering those who cost so much more to cover. On average, folks who've lived more than six decades often have pre-existing conditions, and we know all too well what insurers think of those with pre-existing conditions. Seniors relied on this system for many years, but it didn't work. We created Medicare because relying on private insurers didn't work. And now Republicans want to roll back the clock.”