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Friedenberg speaks in city on Medicare

Marc Friedenberg spoke to several dozen people at the Genetti Hotel Friday on issues ranging from Medicare to the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh for U.S. Supreme Court.

The Democratic candidate for the 12th Congressional District said Medicare should be extended to everyone.

“He shouldn’t be on the bench. He is making a mockery of our entire system,” he said of Kavanaugh. “We have to elect better people.”

Standing beside a cardboard cutout of his opponent, state Rep. Tom Marino, R-Cogan Station, Friedenberg took questions from people gathered before him for nearly an hour.

He said Marino has refused to debate him and that’s one reason he held Friday’s town hall meeting and others around the district. Friedenberg was scheduled to appear during the day in Lewisburg, Lock Haven and State College.

“I don’t know what he stands for,” he said of Marino.

He briefly took Marino to task for backing the Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act, which critics claim helped open the door to bringing more opioids into communities.

Friedenberg said his own campaign is about equality of opportunity, a role that the federal government should fill.

Government, he said, can be a force for good.

Friedenberg said he is campaigning to reach all voters in the district, including Republicans.

“It’s a populist district but a non-voting district,” he said.

He said campaigning is fun, but that’s not his reason for seeking office.

He said he is out to win the election.

Friedenberg said radical changes need to be done to address the needs of more people.

“Many people have lost hope,” he said. “We can level the playing field.”

He said the wealthiest citizens have received tax breaks that have made it harder to cut into the nation’s debt.

People, he said, are looking for change.

Friedenberg said he favors a carbon tax that can help the nation more readily adapt to renewable energy sources.

Regarding Medicare, he said providing the federal health care program for all is a way of showing “that we care for each other.”

On term limits for House members he said, “I have not yet been convinced that term limits are needed.”

He explained that voters are given a chance every two years to vote for the candidate of their choice.

Friedenberg said he supports the second amendment protecting a person’s right to bear arms.

He also said he backs “common sense measures” with respect to owning a gun, including a ban on assault style rifles and universal background checks.

Friedenberg called for extending broadband coverage to rural areas and tapping federal funding, if needed, to make that happen.

He said he is working to reach as many voters as possible in his campaign.

“I am proud to go everywhere and stand up for who I am,” he said.

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