Legislators again consider crop insurance reforms
Crop insurance in the U.S. is often criticized as being a major financial drain on the federal government. This type of insurance coverage is part of the federal government’s safety net for farmers, which is meant to provide farmers with financial support in the event of natural disasters and to ensure that they have an incentive to produce crops. The country’s crop insurance program has become the target for those seeking reform, with some federal lawmakers suggesting that the program encourages farmers to adopt risky farming practices in order to obtain more money from the federal government.
Proposal aims to require wealthy farmers to pay more for coverage
The House of Representatives recently voted on a proposal that would require the wealthiest farmers in the country to pay more for their crop insurance coverage. While the proposal received support from lawmakers, it is non-binding currently, meaning that it has no legislative power over farmers and their access to crop insurance. During the next step of the legislative process, Senators will be negotiating with farmers and various agricultural interests in order to make adjustments to the proposal.
Proposal could save $1.3 billion in crop insurance costs over 10 years
Nearly 1% of all farmers in the country are expected to be affected by the legislation if it is fully enacted. This would mean that approximately 20,000 of the wealthiest farmers in the country would be paying a combined $1.3 billion for crop insurance coverage over the next decade. While farmers would be paying more for coverage, the country’s crop insurance program would be expanded in order to become more accommodating to farmers throughout the nation.
Legislators calling to reform problematic program
Crop insurance is currently the only federal agriculture program that does not have payment or eligibility limits. This has caused some legislators to question the financial viability of the program and its continued existence. Some lawmakers argue that crop insurance is an inordinate drain on the country’s finances, while others suggest that serious reforms are needed in order to encourage farmers to mitigate the risks they are exposed to when it comes to natural disasters.