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Campaign to create a Medicaid Buy-In Program for Goodwill Industries

Case studies show how Arnold Public Affairs works with its clients, both corporations and non-profit organizations, to accomplish their goals. In each of the cases we used our expertise, whether it was lobbying the legislature, managing a coalition or creating a winning message, to help our clients succeed.

Accidental DonationBACKGROUND

Arnold Public Affairs was hired by the Texas Association of Goodwills to manage a coalition of non-profits whose goal was to create a Medicaid Buy-In Program authorized in federal statute by the Work Incentives Improvement Act of 1999. The coalition consisted of the Texas Association of Goodwills, Advocacy Incorporated, the University of Texas Center for Disability Studies, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and the Coalition of Texans with Disabilities.

The Medicaid Buy-In Program is a work incentive program that allows persons with severe disabilities who desire to work or to increase their employment to do so without losing critical services provided to them by Medicaid.



The challenge was to convince the legislature and governor’s office that this was not an expansion of an entitlement program, but instead was a program to encourage people to work and to contribute to their community through the taxes they pay.


Arnold Public Affairs led a team of advocates and grassroots groups, and developed a plan consisting of the following:

  • Develop strategy and message
  • Identify key legislators to carry legislation
  • Educate state leadership and members of the legislature
  • Activate grassroots communication
  • Work with Executive Commissioner, Deputy Commissioner of Health and Human Services Commission, with Lieutenant Governor Dewhurst’s office and Speaker Craddick’s office, and with Governor Perry’s office
  • Coordinate public testimony before legislative committees
  • Create, produce and distribute of mailings and fact sheets to members of the legislature


During the first session the coalition was able to secure legislation authorizing a study to examine the barriers to employment for persons with severe disabilities.

As a result of the study, a conservative model for a Medicaid Buy-In Program was crafted and approved by stakeholders, including the Health and Human Services Commission and the governor’s office. The legislation was passed and the Texas Medicaid Buy-In Program became a reality.

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