Chris Jones blocked Medicaid expansion for years, but now claims he "led the fight" to expand it

By Keya Vakil
August 22, 2019

Del. Chris Jones (R-Suffolk) spent years opposing Medicaid expansion in Virginia. Now, in a new advertisement, he is boasting that he “led the fight to expand Medicaid.”

Jones, who chairs the House Appropriations Committee, was one of the key opponents of Medicaid expansion, despite the fact that the Commonwealth Institute estimated it would extend healthcare coverage to over a thousand of his constituents. The Washington Post even described him as “a leader in the fight against Medicaid expansion” as he worked to remove Medicaid expansion from the 2014 state budget. 

Jones continued working to remove Medicaid expansion from the budget every year during former Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s administration. He reversed his position in 2018 after Republicans – who ran on an anti-expansion platform – lost a staggering 15 seats in the House of Delegates during the 2017 General Assembly elections.

The Democratic Party of Virginia released a statement on Tuesday calling attention to Jones’ claims that he was a proponent of expansion and pointed out that his own website still features an article highlighting his fight against expansion.

DPVA Secretary Grant Fox criticized Jones’ flip-flop. “He spent years fighting tooth and nail to deny thousands of people in his community access to affordable health care and they know it. Now that his political career is at risk, he’s distorting his record on Medicaid expansion,” Fox said.

  • Keya Vakil

    Keya Vakil is the deputy political editor at COURIER. He previously worked as a researcher in the film industry and dabbled in the political world.

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