NSGA Applauds House for Passing Legislation That Includes PHIT Act; Senate Has Opportunity to Strengthen Measure Encouraging Physical Activity

Contact:

Larry Weindruch
NSGA Director of Public Affairs
(847) 296-6742, ext. 1290
lweindruch@nsga.org

MOUNT PROSPECT, ILLINOIS (July 26, 2018) – The National Sporting Goods Association (NSGA) applauded the U.S. House of Representatives for including legislation to encourage physical activity in the Heath Savings Account (HSA) reform package that passed a House vote by a 277-142 margin.

The Personal Health Investment Today (PHIT) Act (H.R. 6312) was part of that package. It is a compromise version of the original bill, which NSGA has supported and urged passage of since its introduction a decade ago.

The bill would allow Americans to use dollars in their HSAs to pay for physical activity items such as health club memberships, fitness and activity lessons and classes, equipment needed for certain sports and activities, and league and team signup fees for youth and school sports teams.

“Our thanks go to Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI), who has been the champion and lead sponsor for PHIT since its inception, to Rep. Jason Smith (R-MO), who introduced the current bill, and to the 135 bi-partisan co-sponsors who helped make its passage possible,” said NSGA President & CEO Matt Carlson.

“NSGA has been an active proponent of the PHIT Act, attending dozens of meetings on Capitol Hill in support of this bill over the years and contributing significant resources to the PHIT Coalition’s efforts,” Carlson said.

The bill goes to the Senate, where its version of the bill, S. 482, was introduced by Sen. John Thune (R-SD).

“A number of items found in the original PHIT Act were removed or amended during the House Ways & Means Committee markup,” Carlson said. “It is our hope that the Senate will restore those important features that made it a stronger bill.”

Among the changes: The dollar cap was cut in half to $500 per person and $1,000 per family; equipment purchases were restricted to “safety” equipment, eliminating home exercise equipment; exercise videos were removed; and several activities including golf were removed from the list of eligible expenses.

“We urge the Senate to restore the PHIT Act to its original wording,” Carlson said. “PHIT’s greatest benefit is removing cost as a barrier to participating in physical activity.”

NSGA members can contact their U.S. Senators to urge their support by clicking here. For more information on the PHIT Act, please contact NSGA Director of Public Affairs Larry Weindruch, lweindruch@nsga.org, or call (847) 296-6742, Ext. 1290.

About NSGA:

The National Sporting Goods Association has served as the leading voice for the sporting goods industry since 1929. NSGA is devoted to providing a competitive edge to sporting goods retailers and team dealers through industry leading research, networking and advocacy, and unmatched customer support. For more information about membership or NSGA’s products and services, please visit nsga.org.