R Street President Eli Lehrer joined reporter Charles Lane recently to discuss pending flood insurance rate increases on National Public Radio’s Morning Edition program. The full audio of the segment can be found here, while the transcript of his remarks are below.

LANE: Most homeowners, however, will see no rate increases and only a $250 annual surcharge. But for those who live in the most flood-prone areas, the idea is to align the cost of insurance with the actual flood risk. Eli Lehrer is a conservative policy analyst who helped Congress draft the rate increase.

ELI LEHRER: We encourage enormous numbers of people to live in areas where they really shouldn’t be living because we provide them with subsidized flood insurance.

LANE: After Superstorm Sandy, the flood program’s debt got so big that premiums barely covered the interest payments, so Congress raised rates. But Lehrer, who advocates for taking the government out of the insurance business, says it wasn’t enough.

LEHRER: The program still has enough built-in subsidies that it will be another decade at least before we can even have a hope of bringing all or almost all rates to actuarial soundness.

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