Topics: House of Representatives

Bipartisan agreement to keep subsidizing seaside homes

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Congress,Timothy P. Carney,House of Representatives,Flood Insurance

Flood insurance in the U.S. is basically a government affair, which means it isn't really run like a business. That is, taxpayers backstop it, and insurance plans have not been priced according to risk.

In 2012, Congress passed a reform that would try to limit taxpayer exposure by pricing flood insurance plans according to risk. That is, if you build a house somewhere that is very susceptible to flooding, you will pay higher premiums than a house that is less susceptible to flooding.

As the 2012 reform kicked in this year, there were many unhappy homeowners — people in flood-prone areas who saw their flood-insurance premiums skyrocket.

But the House voted this week to gut those 2012 reforms, mostly block the risk-based premium hikes, and instead institute a new flat $25 fee on all plans.

R Street, a free-market insurance think tank, blasted the House vote. Taxpayers for Common Sense also inveighed against it.

I discussed the whole situation on Fox Business Network on Ash Wednesday.

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