Reformers call for farm bill ‘guardrails’ on crop insurance
Congress should make the wealthiest farmers pay a larger share of the cost of taxpayer-subsidized crop insurance and hold the line on crop subsidies in the new farm bill, said a half dozen think tanks, budget hawks, and environmental groups on Wednesday. “There is no obvious or urgent need to increase farm subsidies,” said Nan Swift of the R Street Institute, despite the appeals of farm groups.
The loose coalition of farm bill reformers called for income and payment limits for access to crop insurance and for cutbacks in federal support of insurance companies and the agents who sell the policies. At present, the government pays 62 cents of each $1 in premiums — about $11.6 billion in 2022 — promises insurers of underwriting gains of at least 14.5 percent a year, and pays at least $1 billion annually to insurers and agents for administrative and operating costs.