A Chowchilla man says he is in a life or death situation because of the 'Affordable Healthcare Act' or 'Obamacare'. Gary Ray, who is battling bone cancer, says it's because doctors are rejecting his health insurance.
Ray says the health care plan he had for 20-years with 'Blue Cross' was eliminated by 'Obamacare' and he was bumped to what was supposed to be a similar one. However, the plans turned out to be very different.
"For us it's devastating and we're trying to deal with a disease that's very painful. It's taken a lot of time out of our lives to deal with the treatment of the disease," says Gary Ray who is battling bone cancer.
The 47 year-old has multiple myeloma. During the past few weeks he's had a broken back, spinal surgery, and a new tumor was found and removed. He's paid out of pocket for almost all of the treatment he's had so far.
"I've got a policy that covers me when I'm not sick and it covers my kids for birth control, but it won't cover me for the life threatening thing that I've got going on," adds Ray.
Ray and his wife Kelle are self-employed. He owns a locksmith company and she's a realtor. They have an individual health care plan through 'Blue Cross.' The old plan was set up so in case of cancer they were covered. The new plan only covers wellness checks and preventative care, and they didn't find out until the cancer diagnosis that treatment wasn't covered.
"We have the insurance, they have to cover us. You can't sell me a $700 a month insurance policy and tell me we can't get treatment, that's ridiculous," says Kelle Ray.
Since the Ray's can't find a doctor in the Valley they're driving two and a half hours to Stanford for treatment. However, that's not covered either.
With the bills pilling up the Ray's say they don't know if chemotherapy and two vital medications will be paid for by insurance.
"There's that fear that we're going to lose everything to pay the bill," says Ray.
'Blue Cross' says that Ray's treatment is covered under his plan. However, when they send his wife a new list of doctors that accept the insurance, the doctors tell her they won't see him because they aren't accepting the insurance anymore.
Ray's children have set up an online petition to try to get the policy changed. If you would like to help with the petition click here.
A fundraiser for Gary Ray will be held on Saturday, May 24th from 5pm to 8pm at Portuguese Hall in Chowchilla. For more information contact Steve Weaver at JStevenWeaver@hotmail.com