Under the Dome

Raleigh-area businessman gets pressure,support after criticism of Obamacare

Mike Ruffer, a Raleigh-area local restauranteur, is getting support from business leaders, after he came under fire for his concerns about how the Health Care Act would effect his businesses.

Ruffer, who owns eight Five Guys and Burgers and Fries franchises in North Carolina, said on Monday that the new health care law was hurting his business and forcing him to cancel expansion plans and raise burger prices. He made his remarks during a Heritage Foundation panel discussion.

After his comments were published on the Internet, calls from supporters were made to Five Guys headquarters, and the company began distancing themselves from Ruffer's comments, according to the the group Job Creators Alliance, which announced their support for Ruffer.

“Mike Ruffer is in the same tough spot most job creators are in today: stuck between uncertainty and Obamcare,” said Bernie Marcus, co-founder and former CEO of Home Depot. He also also a co-founder of Job Creators Alliance.

“He has every right to speak his mind, but today's being punished for it,” Marcus said. “In fact's just the latest – we're just seeing a pattern of intimidation against small business leaders who speak up about the failures of Obamcare.''

The Job Creators Alliance argues that there have been orchestrated campaigns to silence business dissent in recent months against Papa John's, Darden's Restaurants, a group of Denny's franchises, Whole Foods, Universal Orlando Resorts and golfer Phil Mickelson.

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