Federal bill would authorize new research to look into ways to draw private insurers into the marketplace.
The House of Representatives is voting on a 30 day extension for the federal flood insurance program, which would also authorize a new study that would look into various ways that could help to attract more private carriers into the market.
The vote is expected to pass, so that the extension can begin and the research can move forward.
A different short-term extension was offered in the Senate by Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev), but the request for the approval of that measure was blocked unanimously by Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla). According to Coburn, the Senate would have been required to pass a long-term extension with reforms created to decrease the subsidies to taxpayers.
The debate in the House for the 30-day extension occurred on May 16, 2012.
The members finished the debate with the statement that they weren’t left with any choice but to extend the program, the authorization of which would have otherwise expired on May 31. Now it will continue until the end of June.
Should the flood insurance program be left to lapse, as was the case in 2010, then it would no longer be possible to issue any new policies, and this would force any home sale closings to have to be postponed within communities that have a mandatory regulation for this coverage.
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Congresswoman Candice Miller (R-Michigan) did not have a great deal of support for the bill, as she stated during the debate that it was time for the federal program to be eliminated. It has been in place since 1968 and there are currently almost 500,000 residents of Louisiana who have policies.
According to Miller, “So many of us very strongly opposed to Obama Care, the government takeover of health care because we didn’t believe the federal government should be running the health care for our entire nation,” adding that “apparently we have no problem with the federal government running a National Flood Insurance Program.”
However, the current bill faced by the House differs from previous short term extensions that have been given to the flood insurance program, as this one now includes “reform measures” such as the research that will help to encourage private insurer participation.