Massachusetts business owner faces backlash for attending Trump signing

In this Thursday, Oct. 12, photo, Dave Ratner, second from left, and others watch as President Donald Trump signs an executive order on health care in the Roosevelt Room of the White House. –Evan Vucci / AP

AGAWAM, Mass. (AP) — A Massachusetts business owner photographed last week with President Donald Trump is facing heavy criticism.

Dave’s Soda and Pet City owner Dave Ratner was among retailers at the White House on Thursday for Trump’s signing of an executive order authorizing changes to the Affordable Care Act. Ratner can be seen smiling behind the Republican president in a picture of the event.

The Springfield native has been denounced by customers on social media, with many saying they’ll no longer shop at his Agawam-based beverage and pet store.

Ratner says he decided to attend the signing because Trump was restoring small businesses’ power to negotiate group insurance rates. He says he’s “embarrassed” and wouldn’t have gone had he known Trump also would cut off federal payments to insurers.


Trump says the health care system “will get better” with his action.


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