Editor's note: On CNN's "State of the Union," host and chief national correspondent John King goes outside the Beltway to report on the issues affecting communities across the country.
CLAY, West Virginia (CNN) – Carl Walls speaks softly and humbly.
"If life and death depended on money, I'd just have to die," is how he sees things.
"You would be dead now," his wife, Elizabeth, chimed in.
With a nod, Carl acknowledged that she had it right.
"I'd be dead right now."
He wasn't much for trusting doctors to begin with. ("Legal dope dispensers" is how he puts it.)
And then there was the financial hurdle: The Wallses sold two small businesses a few years ago to pay for back surgery and other health problems Elizabeth was facing.