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The Source: Local Governments Mobilize Health Care Education | Religion & Health Connected?

United States Department of Health And Human Services
One of several advertisements attempting to educate citizens about health care through the Affordable Care Act.

In the first segment:

Three million people have now enrolled in the new health exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act, with a thirty percent jump in December.

But things in Texas are not as rosy, as enrollment continues to trickle in despite the state leading the country in the number of uninsured -- Texas has nearly five million uninsured people, according to the Texas Medical Association.

While the state released new regulations on healthcare navigators -- slowing things down some argue -- local governments are taking on the challenge of educating their residents about the new programs. 

Becca Aaronson, staff writer at the Texas Tribune, joins us to talk abou what some local programs are doing. Here in Bexar County they are working towards educating people. William Velazquez, a project coordinator with the Bexar County Department of Community Resources, joins us to explain.

In the second segment:


There are several studies pointing to a link between health and religious practice. The results have been at times a mixed bag. According to the "Handbook of Religion and Health," with general anxiety disorders, which affect millions of Americans every year, it was unevenly split.

In our systematic review of the research conducted over the past 130 years in the Handbook of Religion and Health, we identified 299 quantitative studies that had examined the relationship between religious beliefs and behaviors and anxiety. Of those research reports, 147 (49%) found inverse relationships between religiosity and anxiety or a decrease in anxiety in response to religious/spiritual interventions. -Harold G. Keonig, MD

Several studies have pointed to an link in a myriad of other mental and physical health situations. A forthcoming article in the Journal of Society and Mental Health asks "Is It Really Religion?" looking at whether organized civic engagement could provide the same benefits.  

Dr. Gabriel Acevedo, professor of sociology at the University of Texas at San Antonio, joins us as one of the co-authors of the article. Also joining us is co-author Dr. Chris Ellison, who is also in the Department of Sociology at UTSA and has written broadly on the interplay between religion and health for much of his career.

*The Source airs at 3 p.m. on KSTX 89.1 FM - audio from this show will be posted by 5:30 p.m.

Paul Flahive can be reached at Paul@tpr.org and on Twitter at @paulflahive