Tribune columnist Joe Henderson is wrong to call for delays in changes to the National Flood Insurance Program (“Fair play needed in flood insurance debate,” Oct. 1). Although the changes may cause some pain for some people, they’re absolutely necessary. Quite simply, NFIP cannot continue without the changes. Indeed, the program already owes the Treasury more than $25 billion that it has no practical way of paying back.

The reforms now going into force will exempt the overwhelming majority of primary homeowners now in the program. In fact, the overwhelming majority of properties that have already seen rate increases since Jan. 1 are second homes or properties that taxpayers have already rebuilt. As high rates are phased in for more people, some homeowners of modest means may have a difficult time paying their premiums, but the best solution to this problem is to provide them with some help rather than pulling back on necessary changes in the program.

Without reforms, NFIP simply won’t be able to go on providing coverage to the millions of Americans and thousands of communities that depend on it. The best solution isn’t to simply give up on the idea of reform.

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