Danielle Kurtzleben

Danielle Kurtzleben is a political reporter assigned to NPR's Washington Desk. She appears on NPR shows, writes for the web, and is a regular on the NPR Politics Podcast. She is covering the 2020 presidential election, with particular focuses on on economic policy and gender politics.

Before joining NPR in 2015, Kurtzleben spent a year as a correspondent for Vox.com. As part of the site's original reporting team, she covered economics and business news.

Prior to Vox.com, Kurtzleben was with U.S. News & World Report for nearly four years, where she covered the economy, campaign finance and demographic issues. As associate editor, she launched Data Mine, a data visualization blog on usnews.com.

A native of Titonka, Iowa, Kurtzleben has a bachelor's degree in English from Carleton College. She also holds a master's degree in global communication from George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs.

There was a time when "Medicare for All" was not a part of Sen. Elizabeth Warren's presidential campaign. It was March.

The divide among Democrats over "Medicare for All" has dominated the policy conversation in the 2020 Democratic primary. But another rift has opened among Democrats, this one about college affordability. The question: Who should get to go to college for free?

South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg jabbed at his more liberal opponents in a new ad airing in Iowa. It doesn't name other candidates, but it's clear he's taking aim at Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who have pitched plans making free public college available to all.

A few weeks ago, Elizabeth Warren made huge news with her plan to finance "Medicare for All." But as part of it, the Massachusetts senator made a big change to one of her other major policy goals: she boosted the size of the wealth tax she wants to impose on the very rich: The top rate went from 3% to 6%, giving her trillions more dollars in theoretical revenue to fund the sweeping program.

Women always make up more than half of the electorate in national elections.

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Sen. Elizabeth Warren says paying for "Medicare for All" would require $20.5 trillion in new federal spending over a decade. That spending includes higher taxes on the wealthy but no new taxes on the middle class.

The Democratic presidential candidate released her plan to pay for Medicare for All on Friday after being dogged for months by questions of how she would finance such a sweeping overhaul of the health care system. That pressure has been intensified by the fact that Warren has made detailed proposals a central part of her brand as a candidate.

Bernie Sanders doesn't plan on releasing a detailed plan of how to finance his single-payer Medicare for All plan, he told CNBC's John Harwood on Tuesday.

"You're asking me to come up with an exact detailed plan of how every American — how much you're going to pay more in taxes, how much I'm going to pay," he said. "I don't think I have to do that right now."

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Are robots stealing workers' jobs? At last week's Democratic presidential debate, CNN moderator Erin Burnett dove into the thorny issue.

"According to a recent study, about a quarter of American jobs could be lost to automation in just the next 10 years," she said, asking candidates how they would respond to this problem.

After a long, steady rise in the polls, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren is now vying for front-runner status with former Vice President Joe Biden. On Tuesday night, more moderate candidates took aim at her progressive policy positions as unrealistic and expensive.

"Medicare for All" — the single-payer health care plan supported by both Warren and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders — was the main topic in this moderate-progressive fight.

Editor's Note on April 8, 2020: With the Democratic primary now down to one candidate, we're no longer updating the below graphic. But you can still see the stances of all candidates — past and present — below.

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DANIELLE KURTZLEBEN, BYLINE: Even before Biden arrived in New Hampshire, voters here may have already heard him attacking Trump. Here is Biden in a new ad released last week intended to run in early states.

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Editor's Note on April 8, 2020: With the Democratic primary now down to one candidate, we're no longer updating the below graphic. But you can still see the stances of all candidates — past and present — below.


Aside from having proposals for programs they would like to implement, Democratic presidential candidates have proposals for how they would like government to function.

Editor's Note on April 8, 2020: With the Democratic primary now down to one candidate, we're no longer updating the below graphic. But you can still see the stances of all candidates — past and present — below.

Updated at 12:15 p.m. ET

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is canceling presidential campaign events "until further" notice following a heart procedure, campaign senior adviser Jeff Weaver said Wednesday morning.

Weaver said in a brief written statement that Sanders "experienced some chest discomfort" during a Tuesday evening campaign event.

Once again, health care took up a large chunk of a Democratic primary debate. Once again, there were fights over costs, coverage and whether the party is growing too extreme.

But this time, all of the front-runners were onstage together, providing the first opportunity for all of them to take direct aim at each other and their vastly differing health care plans. It made for some heated exchanges, putting "Medicare for All" supporters on defense. But it also showed clearly that some candidates are cautious not to criticize others' proposals too harshly.

Editor's Note on April 8, 2020: With the Democratic primary now down to one candidate, we're no longer updating the below graphic. But you can still see the stances of all candidates — past and present — below.


Donald Trump's immigration stances — family separation, a ban on immigrants from several majority-Muslim nations, the cancellation of the Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals program, to name a few — have given Democrats much to criticize as the 2020 presidential election approaches.

Editor's Note on April 8, 2020: With the Democratic primary now down to one candidate, we're no longer updating the below graphic. But you can still see the stances of all candidates — past and present — below.

Editor's Note on April 8, 2020: With the Democratic primary now down to one candidate, we're no longer updating the below graphic. But you can still see the stances of all candidates — past and present — below.


Health care helped propel Democrats to victory in a wave of elections in 2018, and it remains a top issue for voters heading into 2020.

What do the men of Gilead do all day?

We learn very little about it in The Testaments. We hear of one who mostly shuts himself in his study, away from his family, to work all day. We learn that a high-ranking government official serially kills off each of his teenage wives once they get too old for his tastes, then seeks out new targets. We learn that another respected man is a pedophile who gropes young girls.

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Updated at 1:13 a.m. ET

Wednesday night, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand blasted Joe Biden for a 1980s position on the child care tax credit and a comment he wrote about the "deterioration of the family."

Here's what Gillibrand said:

At the Democratic debate tonight, one particular aspect of Bernie Sanders' "Medicare for All" plan got special scrutiny.

After a back-and-forth over how to pay for the plan, CNN moderator Jake Tapper pointedly asked Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who has sponsored Sanders' plan: "Would you raise taxes on the middle class to pay for Medicare for All — offset, obviously, by the elimination of insurance premiums — yes or no?"

"Costs will go up for billionaires and go up for corporations," Warren said. "For middle-class families, costs — total costs — will go down."

Updated at 1 p.m. ET

California Sen. Kamala Harris has released a health care plan just in time for the second Democratic debate, offering a role for private insurance in a "Medicare for All" system and outlining new taxes to pay for it.

The plan comes after months of questions about whether she supports scrapping private insurance — and as former Vice President Joe Biden appears to be gearing up to attack her at the upcoming debate on her support for Medicare for All.

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Elizabeth Warren made sure to specially thank South Carolina Rep. James Clyburn when they introduced their student debt forgiveness plan this week.

The reason: He might actually get a vote on it.

"I am deeply grateful to the congressman for taking this first piece on student debt cancellation so that we have a chance to work it through the House. Right now, we're not likely to get a vote in the Senate," she said, to chuckles in the audience.

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At the Democratic presidential debate this week, voters got a preview of how Democrats will handle what for now is an uphill battle against President Trump.

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