In less than three months, the Personal Health Investment Today (PHIT) Act has gained support from 50 Members of Congress with the addition of Congressman Joe Barton (R-Tex.) on Thursday. This is the third Congress in a row PHIT has reached the 50 co-sponsor mark and half way to the record 102 co-sponsors in 2016.
An independent study conducted by the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) concluded nearly 80 percent of parents and 77 percent of millennials are in favor of the PHIT Act, which allows individuals to use pre-tax medical accounts to offset costs related to sports, fitness and other qualified physical activities. Eligible expenses would include youth sport registrations, health club memberships, fitness classes and more.
“Physical inactivity is now the fourth deadliest cause of death worldwide and twice as deadly as obesity,” said Tom Cove, SFIA president and CEO. “With adult inactivity exceeding 82 million Americans and youth participation down in team sports, the PHIT Act is exactly what families want and what our country needs; it’s now in the hands of our legislators to approve this important measure.”
This legislation was reintroduced by Senator John Thune (R-S.D.) in the Senate (S. 482) and Congressman Jason Smith (R-MO) in the House of Representatives (H.R. 1267) on March 1, 2017. PHIT currently has support from 31 Democrats and 19 Republicans in Congress.
“The PHIT Act (HR 1267) will help get more Americans up and moving,” said Congressman Joe Barton. “From little league baseball to family gym memberships, this important legislation makes healthy living more affordable.”
The PHIT Coalition, made up of leaders in the fitness, sports, medical, and youth wellness communities, has been leading the efforts to move this bi-partisan Congressional legislation. Coalition members include the American Heart Association, American Council on Exercise, The Boys and Girls Clubs of America, American College of Sports Medicine, The Cooper Institute, The International Health & Racquet Sports Association, The Outdoor Industry Association, People for Bikes and The National Recreation and Parks Association.
More info: www.sfia.org/publicaffairs/phit.