How Not to do Crop Insurance
Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) introduced the "AFFIRM" Act to change crop insurance. If passed, it would not be good for farmers.
Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) introduced the Assisting Family Farmers Through Insurance Reform Measures (AFFIRM) Act this week.
The introduction to the Act indicates it designed to help smaller farmers get additional crop insurance coverage. However, when you read the provisions, all it does is eliminate premium subsidies for larger farmers. There appears to be nothing in the Act to provide additional coverage for smaller producers.
Here are some of the key details:
Cap annual premium subsidies at $125,000 per farmer tying it to the Title 1 cap.
Eliminate premium subsidies for farmers making more than $250,000 adjusted gross income.
Reduce the subsidies to crop insurance companies.
Lower insurance company profits to 8.9% from the current 14%.
Eliminate subsidies for Harvest Price Option (HPO).
Require USDA to disclose everyone getting subsidies and the amounts.
Restrict crop insurance to farmers who are actively farming (some type of basic work requirements).
As you can see if this was to pass it would affectively gut the federal crop insurance program. Also, you can see there is nothing in here to help smaller farmers. Conversely, if this passed, smaller farmers would likely see a substantial increase in premiums.
Here are the groups that are endorsing the Act:
Taxpayers for Common Sense,
R Street, Environmental Working Group,
National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition,
National Taxpayers Union,
Taxpayers Protection Alliance,
The chance of this passing in normal times is somewhere between slim and none. But this is not normal times. You may want to reach out to your representative to let them know how you feel about this Act.