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The PHIT Act Is Scored

The PHIT Act Is Scored

Positive Sign For Legislation & A Healthy America!

SILVER SPRING, MD – July 22, 2014 – PHIT America is pleased to report that there is progress to report in Washington, D.C. on pro-physical activity legislation.  The Personal Health Investment Today (PHIT) Act has a ‘score,’ which is necessary for any federal legislation which impacts taxation.  The Congressional Budget Office has given the PHIT Act (H.R. 956) a ‘score’ of just more than $2.5 billion, over a ten-year period.  

The ‘score’ is a congressional estimate on how much money Americans will invest on fitness and sports participation during the course of the next ten years, if given an incentive.

“Having a ‘score’ helps us build a culture that values physical activity in the U.S.,” says Bill Sells, SFIA’s Vice President of Government Relations.  “Having a ‘score’ is a major step forward in our efforts to get the PHIT Act passed.”

“This is great news,” says Jim Baugh, Founder of PHIT America. “When we talked to other members of Congress to support the PHIT Act, many asked, ‘Has it been scored?’ Now we know the amount and the news is positive. It’s worth noting that the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that for every dollar spent on physical activity, it generates a savings of $3.20 per person in medical expenses, which means the PHIT Act, if passed, could generate a savings of more than $8 billion for the U.S. in health care expenses over the course of the next 10 years. This shows the PHIT Act is true healthcare – preventing healthcare costs.”

The goal of the PHIT Bill is to encourage more physical activity for all Americans by making it more affordable -- through the use of a pre-tax medical account – to play sports and be active.  The support for this legislation is bipartisan.  Of the 45 Congressional co-sponsors, 22 are Democrats and 23 are Republicans.

“Having a fairly equal split of Democrats and Republicans signed on as co-sponsors for the PHIT Act is proof that physical activity has no political affiliation,” says Sells.

“This legislation will benefit Americans of all ages in all 50 states. We have to reduce and prevent healthcare costs in America. And, getting America more active and fit will help. The PHIT Act is a win-win for America’s healthcare system and individuals who will get more active, fit and healthy,” states Baugh.

If passed, what will the PHIT Act do?  It 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 and Flexible Spending Accounts and would allow consumers to deduct physical activity costs once they meet the 7.5 percent of income threshold on medical expenses. For more details on the PHIT Act, Click Here.

Eligible expenses would include sports and fitness equipment solely used to participate in a physical activity, gym memberships, fitness & exercise classes, youth & adult sports’ registration fees, and sports instruction/lessons/clinics.

PHIT America is encouraging all Americans to get active and support the PHIT Act.  “We must fight to overcome the inactivity pandemic to improve the health of America. And, we have a way for every American to lobby Congress to generate support for this legislation. Go to ADVOCATE NOW to send an electronic letter to your local U.S. Representative and two U.S. Senators, encouraging them to support the PHIT Act.”

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