A small business owner from Massachusetts who appeared at President Donald Trump’s signing ceremony in which he gutted key portions of the Affordable Care Act says that he was tricked by the White House.
Local news station WBUR reports that Dave Ratner, who owns seven Dave’s Soda and Pet City stores in western Massachusetts and northern Connecticut, is facing a fierce backlash from his customers after appearing at Trump’s anti-Obamacare event last week.
However, Ratner insists that he was told by the National Retailers Association and the White House that Trump would only be signing an executive order that would “allow more small businesses to form associations to buy affordable and competitive health insurance,” which was a change that he had long advocated.
“Petco, PetSmart, Costco — all these chains with a huge amount of employees, they go out and they bargain with the insurance companies,” Ratner said. “Dave, or the plumber, or the barbershop, goes out to try and get health insurance for their employees. We don’t have anywhere near the bargaining power. So we pay way more.”
However, Ratner claims that he had no idea how far-reaching Trump’s executive order would be — and he was appalled when he saw Trump’s decision to cut cost-sharing subsidies last week, which is expected to raise premiums on millions of customers.
“In my particular case, had I known that he was going to announce that he’s dismantling Obamacare, I never would’ve gone,” Ratner said.
Ratner also says that many of his customers were venting about his decision to attend to his employees, who had no control over whether their boss attended a Trump White House signing ceremony.
“Why people are taking it out on me for going to Washington to do something that I thought was going to do good for millions of people,” he said. “I just don’t get it.”