Democrat, GOP Platform Catastrophe Focus Limited to Crop Cover

The U.S. Democratic party mentions “insurance” twenty times in the platform issued Sunday evening, but any focus on catastrophe issues is limited to its support of crop insurance and its expansion into farm “disaster” insurance.

The platform — titled “Moving America Forward” — says the Democrats will use the next four years focusing on the development of U.S. crop insurance, the federally subsidized program run by the United States Department of Agriculture and sold by private carriers. The document adds the party will look to expand the crop insurance program if it regains power in the White House.

“Democrats will strengthen the American farm safety net by renewing crop disaster relief, maintaining strong crop insurance programs, and creating a permanent disaster relief program” the platform states.

Weak on the details, the Democratic platform adds that the party will focus on a long-term solution to crop insurance.

“Democrats appreciate agriculture’s role in securing America’s food security and making our country an ambassador of food aid to countries across the world” the platform states,” according to the document. “That’s why Democrats support a strong farm safety net, with increased availability of crop insurance and emergency disaster assistance to help farmers and ranchers keep their farms in business after natural disasters and crop loss.”

All other references to insurance within the 70 page Democratic platform focus on the U.S. health care reform.

The U.S. crop insurance program has come under scrutiny over the past several months as it came up for renewal amid party bickering and a severe summer drought means that the program may its most sever losses in decades.

Similarly, the Republican platform limits it focus on catastrophe finance to the U.S. crop insurance program, arguing that other forms of farm subsidies “should end in favor or those — like crop insurance — that help manage risk and are counter-cyclical in nature.”

The Republican platform’s only other mention of the private catastrophe markets was laudatory, arguing that the U.S. government should adopt the claims paying practice of the private market when it comes to veteran disability claims.

If private insurance companies can deal with car wrecks and hurricanes within weeks or months,it is inexplicable that the federal government takes, on average, a year to process a veteran’s claim,” the GOP platform states.

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