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Senate, House Bills Propose Crop Insurance Cutbacks

Companion bills lower taxpayer portion of crop insurance premiums

Published on: Mar 11, 2013

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., and Rep. John Duncan, R-Tenn., Tuesday introduced companion bills that would alter the federal crop insurance program by returning crop insurance subsidies to pre-Agriculture Risk Protection Act levels, lowering taxpayer portion of insurance premiums from 62% to 37%.

According to Congressional Budget Office estimates, the bill, Crop Insurance Subsidy Reduction Act of 2013, would save taxpayers more than $40 billion over the next ten years.

Rep. Duncan and Sen. Flake say the bill would "restore the program's fiscal integrity" while ensuring that farmers are protected by an effective safety net.

"The crop insurance program has turned into a huge taxpayer-funded boon for some of the biggest, multi-national insurance companies and multi-millionaire corporate farmers," Rep. Duncan said in a press statement. "In a time of record deficits and an incomprehensible $16.5 trillion in debt, this program can no longer be justified in its current form."

Companion bills lower taxpayer portion of crop insurance premiums
Companion bills lower taxpayer portion of crop insurance premiums

Sen. Flake said similarly that the current fiscal crisis proposes strong cause for a roll back of crop insurance subsidies.

He said the bill "offers an opportunity to have taxpayer-funded federal farm subsidies more realistically reflect our current fiscal situation."

Taxpayers spent $7.1 billion in 2012 on federal crop and revenue insurance premium subsidies, according to the USDA. The legislators say even in years when the federal government takes in more in premiums than it dispenses in claims, a net loss still results because of the amount spent on crop insurance subsidies.

The bill is supported by several taxpayer and reform groups, and the Environmental Working Group.

EWG has lobbied for crop insurance cutbacks, an issue the National Crop Insurance Services recently tackled in a video published on Feb. 27.

NCIS says EWG accused farmers of "praying for the drought," which Milford, Ill., farmer Marvin Andris, during the NCIS video responded, "They obviously haven't brushed shoulders with any farmer. I'll guarantee there's not a farmer that I know of that is into [farming] so they can collect crop insurance. We're into this because we want to raise crops."

Comments:
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  1. Anonymous says:

    if any farmer pray for drought, pays a preimum for crop ins, collect ins.up to 85% maximum payment for crop loss is braindead when he can harvest a 100% crop

  2. Anonymous says:

    it look like rep duncan trying put the FAMILY FARMER OUT OF BUSNESS SO CHINA CAN BUY UP THE LAND.

  3. Anonymous says:

    If the goverenment subsidized insurance decreases and the direct payments go away, what incentive will farmers have to to follow the FSA rules and regulations on conservation? Ed, IN

  4. Anonymous says:

    i'd rather see them cut the meager FSA payments altogether before they mess with crop insurance. Jim, Mn

  5. Anonymous says:

    A true farmer would never pray for something like that. Farming s n ur blood , I have been farming for 40 yrs had ups an my share of downs, never once have I asked the good Lord to give me a drought. These people have no idea what they r talking about. They no nothing about a man that gives his all to raise crops .You miss out on a lot of personnel things family time so u can get crops n the fields on time and harvested on time.

  6. Anonymous says:

    The only producers who will carry insurance at the price levels that will result from this are going to be the producers who are farming the system. Indemnity claims will stay high from participants while the better producers will move their policies into the private sector (more hail insurance, etc.) The loss of the direct payments, which should happen within the next year, coupled with this move should remove all incentive for the American farmer to ever set foot in an FSA office. On the positive side, what is left to take from the American farmer now? Blame can finally be focused on the real problems, not on the hard working men and women who feed this country. Montana wheat farmer

  7. Anonymous says:

    EWG is NOT a "reform group". That description of what they do is ridiculous. Why do we care what EWG's position on any ag-related issue is? Do we pretend not to grasp what their ultimate goal is? Do we forget their beginning salvo against American ag? When we allow them to insert themselves into every issue we give them unearned credibility. When do we begin to fight this destructive force, working against U.S. Ag for decades?