9-year-old Danielle Highley is representing CHIP kids at the State of the Union

Danielle Highley of Montana. (Photo: Courtesy of the Highley family)

Why is Daines bringing someone?

Why did he choose Highley?


Photo: Courtesy of the Highley family

What is CHIP?

The Children’s Health Insurance Program is a joint state-federal program that provides free or low-cost insurance to families who do not qualify for Medicaid. It was created in the mid-1990s by Sens. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., and Orrin Hatch, R-Utah. In 2009, President Barack Obama expanded the program by $35 billion, covering an additional 4 million children through 2015.

Why is everyone talking about it now?

CHIP’s funding expired in October, causing states to run out of funding and parents who rely on it to panic about how they’ll cover their children’s medical expenses without it. Last week, Republicans revived it — tacking a six-year CHIP extension onto their short-term spending program. The move was an overtly political one, aimed at encouraging Democrats not to shut down the government over something else they wanted the bill to include: protection against the deportation of Dreamers.

Where does CHIP stand now?

After a three-day government shutdown, lawmakers agreed to pass the short-term spending bill on Jan. 22. The move both reopened the government and reauthorized CHIP for six more years.

What does CHIP actually do?

How does Highley fit into this?

How does Highley feel about attending the event?

And what does Daines think?

In a statement sent to Kasy Tech Lifestyle, Daines expressed his commitment to the cause. “It is great to be here with Dani for her first trip to Washington, D.C. Dani and the 24,000 Montana kids who depend on CHIP can now rest assured they’ll continue to have access to critical health care,” said Daines. “These kids are worth fighting for.”

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