President Donald Trump, in Cincinnati to unveil his infrastructure plan Wednesday, met with Raya Mafazy Whalen and her husband, Michael Whalen, of Oakwood.
They own and operate PlayCare, a Miami County company based in Troy that specializes in playground equipment.
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(NEW) The Whalens got a call Tuesday afternoon asking if they wanted to meet the president.
"Today we had the amazing opportunity to meet President Trump and tell him our story and our experience with Obamacare, which has been primarily a negative experience,” Raya Whalen said.
“I had the honor to go on Air Force One and meet him and then we met him and introduced him to the whole family as well," she said, which includes their 7-month-old daughter Colette.
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Raya Whalen also was chairwoman of Women for Trump Montgomery County last year and is founder of Young Republican Women of Dayton.
The Whalens had three to five minutes aboard the aircraft at Cincinnati Municipal Lunken Airport and then a few minutes on the tarmac. They were positioned by him during his public remarks, next to another family.
"He was incredibly kind and more quiet than I anticipated and he gave me a lot of hope for the future," Raya Whalen said.
"I know that family's very important to him and he seemed really honored that he got to communicate with real families and hear our stories," she said.
Michael Whalen agrees with his wife's assessment of Trump.
"It was not this big, intimidating, overbearing person. He's very genuine and he almost comes down to your level physically and looks you in the eye and just very natural and a sense of humor and this sense of being casual -- even though for me it was certainly not a casual time -- so it was really very unique, not what I expected," he said.
The Whalens spoke to Trump about their experience with the Affordable Care Act.
Before Obamacare, they offered insurance to their 15 employees and also had insurance through their company. Now they and their employees use the purchase health care exchanges.
The president spoke about the Whalens during his remarks.
"Raya liked her doctor, wanted to keep her doctor, but she could not keep her doctor,” the president said.
“She wasn't allowed under the rules and regulations unless she paid an additional $50,000 in out-of-pocket expenses for the birth of her precious little girl -- just born -- Colette.
“Their monthly premiums have quadrupled. Their deductible is a staggering $15,000 -- meaning they won't even get to use it -- and hopefully, I have to say that -- but they won't get to use what they're paying so much for," Trump said.
The president said he and his administration are working hard to fix the health insurance issue.