“The changes that are being made will make the program more economically rational so that it would not be a burden on the taxpayer,” said Jerry Theodorou, director of insurance for the R Street Institute, a nonprofit public policy research group. “We consider it unfair that ordinary taxpayers are subsidizing the cost of flood insurance for people who can well afford it.”

He said he recently asked the management of the national flood insurance program how long it will take for expensive and riskier homes to pay the actuarially correct cost given that premiums, by law, can at most be raised 18% a year.

“The answer was 10 years or more,” he said.

The way to get to economic soundness would be to have the private market take over, Theodorou said.

“The government doesn’t need to be in the business of flood insurance,” he said. “The bad news is that this year, they’re going to lose more money, but gradually you’re going to start to see the rates approach actuarily sound levels, and that’s a good thing.”