Health Insurance, Child Abuse, Conservation, and Banking Discrimination

According to a new report by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the nation has made some improvement in providing health insurance in the last few years, with 14.2 percent without coverage in 2005 compared to 15.4 percent in 1997, largely due to greater coverage of children. Still, 41.2 million people still lack health coverage and, coverage in different states ranges from 6 percent without health insurance in Massachusetts to over 24 percent lacking health insurance in Texas.

Overall across the country, states and local governments have been increasing spending for children who are victims of abuse and neglect, but according to the Urban Institute, thirteen states have actually been cutting money for their child welfare systems. The linked report explores why there is such variation in spending in different states.

The Trust for Public Land has created an online Almanac of Conservative Statistics, which reviews state and federal conservation statistics for 13 western states with overviews of state policy frameworks for funding land conservation. The goal is to expand it into a national review of both statistics and policies for protecting the land.

Why do blacks and latinos receive worse rates when they apply for mortgages? A new report by the Center for Responsible Lending disproves the banking industry's speculation that it was due to worse credit histories. In fact, the study found that, even factoring in credit histories and other risk factors, "borrowers of color...were more than 30 percent more likely to receive a higher-rate loan than white borrowers."