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The PHIT Act Gets Breakthrough Support From Congress

The PHIT Act Gets Breakthrough Support From Congress

With This Support, It Is Time For Everyone To Write Their Members of Congress

SILVER SPRING, MD – November 2, 2015 – Americans may soon see relief from the increasing costs and expenses to get physically active and healthy, with the announcement from U.S. Senate leaders in support of the PHIT Act, the top legislative priority for PHIT America and the Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA).  Last week, the PHIT Act received the support it needs from four U.S. Senators – two Republicans and two Democrats - who are now committed to supporting the PHIT Act.  Chris Murphy (D-CT), John Thune (R-SD), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), and Joe Donnelly (D-IN) have officially introduced the Personal Health Investment (PHIT) Act (S.2218) in the U.S. Senate. You can read the official Senate release here.  Having a Senate companion to the House PHIT bill (H.R.1218) is critical to moving the PHIT Act through the U.S. Congress. 

The PHIT Act, when passed, will make physical activity more affordable for all Americans, especially families.  Americans will be able to use their pre-tax medical accounts for physical activity expenses such as youth sport registration fees, ‘pay-to-play’ fees, health club fees, fitness classes and much more.

“This is the first time that the PHIT Act has been introduced in both chambers of Congress,” says Bill Sells, SFIA's Vice President of Government & Public Affairs.  “Having Senators Thune, Donnelly, Isakson, and Murphy lead the Democratic and Republican efforts in the Senate is tremendous progress and reinforces the bi-partisan nature of the PHIT Act.  Our physical activity message is resonating through the halls of Congress. We’re happy to have reached this milestone, but our work to increase physical activity in America will continue until the PHIT Act gets passed. The future health of Americans depends on healthy, active lifestylesBi-Partisan Support and the PHIT Act will help lower the financial barrier of being active.”

Another positive aspect of the PHIT Act is the level of bipartisan support which it has attracted in the U.S. House of Representatives – 21 Democrats and 20 Republicans. Click here to see a list of current congressional co-sponsors of the PHIT Act.

“The bipartisan support for the PHIT Act confirms that physical activity is a national concern and not a political concern,” notes Jim Baugh, Founder of PHIT America.

The PHIT Act would change the IRS definition of a “medical expense” to include physical activity as a form of prevention.  Expanding the medical expense definition would make physical activity expenses reimbursable using pre-tax dollars in Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs)....and would allow consumers to deduct physical activity costs once they meet the 10 percent of income threshold on medical expenses.

Eligible expenses would include gym memberships, fitness & exercise classes, youth & adult sports registration fees, camps & clinics, and sports & fitness equipment solely used to participate in a physical activity. A World Health Organization study found that every dollar the U.S. invests in physical activity will result in a $3.20 reduction in future medical spending. With physical activity on the decline and obesity on the rise in the U.S., the PHIT Act would help encourage physical activity as a way to reverse this trend and reduce health care costs. 

Over the next several months, PHIT America, SFIA and the PHIT Act Coalition partners will further ignite efforts on Capitol Hill to pass the PHIT Act with a national social media campaign which will increase the awareness of the PHIT Act at the grassroots level and generate a national call to action to get the PHIT Act passed.

Do you want to help pass the PHIT Act? It is simple!

PHIT America has made it easy for you to contact your members of Congress to ask them to pass the PHIT Act. Just go to PassThePHITAct.org and put in your zip code. Your email will go directly to the offices of your members of Congress. It is that easy.

 New Pass The Phit Act

“It is time for everyone who cares about improving health and preventing healthcare costs to help pass the PHIT Act. Just take 2 minutes and go to PassThePHITAct.org,” said Jim Baugh. 

Founded in January 2013, PHIT America is a non-profit campaign focused on overcoming the severe ramifications of the ‘Inactivity Pandemic’ through three strategic approaches – education, supporting school-based activity programs, and advocating – which will get Americans, especially our youth, more active, fit and healthy.