The Affordable Care Act does not seem to be properly working for everyone. I spoke to a Murfreesboro man who just left his doctor's office after learning that he would soon lose his foot due to a lack of circulation. Evidently, the foot has a chance of being saved, but because of a lack of insurance, surgery cannot be performed until it is needed in an emergency situation. At that point the foot will have to be amputated.
Arnold Coe lives in a small camper located in Rutherford County and makes less than $1,100 per month. Coe told me that he cannot afford insurance once he factors in his cost of living. Right now his monthly expenses add up to over $600. That leaves him with $500 to buy food, clothing, and medication.
Coe suffers from a vascular disease that is causing the tissue in his foot to die due to a lack of circulation. He has pain nearly 24-hours a day in his foot. As the problem worsens, the foot will begin to change color which is a sign of more tissue dying. If his foot is not amputated in a proper amount of time, gangrene will set in which could lead to death in a short period of time if left untreated.
Mr. Coe started smoking at age 5. He told me, "My grandfather use to call me out to the front porch and say 'Let's have a cigar." He said that he would get his own cigar. From that point on, smoking came natural. Today, Coe is 55-years old. A previous doctor told him that his vascular disease will eventually lead to a loss of limbs as it progresses throughout his life. Coe told us, "The light at the end of the tunnel doesn't look very bright."