NSGA Applauds Congress for Reintroducing PHIT Act and Urges Prompt Passage

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: 
Katie Bruce, Director of Marketing & Communications
kbruce@nsga.org
(847) 296-NSGA (6742), ext. 1070

MOUNT PROSPECT, IL (March 1, 2017) – The Personal Health Investment Today (PHIT) Act was reintroduced in the Senate (S.482) and House of Representatives (H.R.1267) today. The National Sporting Goods Association (NSGA), a founding member of the PHIT America coalition that has led advocacy for this bill, applauds Congressional sponsors and calls for quick passage of this landmark legislation.

Reintroduced by Senator John Thune (R-SD) and Congressman Jason Smith (R-MO), PHIT would allow consumers 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 and exercise classes, lessons, and clinics; running registration fees; yoga; activity-based camps and clinics; and sports and fitness equipment purchases solely used to participate in a physical activity.

“Physical activity is one of the best things individuals can do to maintain a healthy lifestyle, and it’s often an important first step for those looking to get on track with their fitness goals,” said Senator Thune. “The PHIT Act reduces the financial burden that can be associated with certain fitness-related purchases, which would make it easier for Americans and their families to prioritize health and wellness – and hopefully save money on future doctor visits, too.”    

“When we encourage people to invest in their personal well-being, the overall costs of healthcare will decline,” Rep. Smith said. “In Washington, too often folks treat symptoms with band aids instead of addressing the underlying source of problems. Under the PHIT Act, we want to encourage people to invest in their own fitness and well-being. I know from personal experience that when people get physically active they become healthier and their personal medical bills can shrink along with their waistlines.” 

PHIT received strong bipartisan backing in the new Congress with three Senators (1R-2D) and nine members of the House Ways & Means Committee (4R-5D) signing on as original co-sponsors.  The lead Democrats on the bills are Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Congressman Ron Kind (D-WI). Congressional support reflects the public backing shown by the PHIT coalition, the medical community, youth organizations such as The Boys and Girls Clubs of America, the American College of Sports Medicine and The National Recreation and Parks Association. 

“For every dollar we invest in encouraging Americans to get active, the more we save on future medical expenses. That’s a fact – and it’s why we should be doing everything we can to help people get exercise and stay healthy,” said Senator Murphy. “Our PHIT Act will make it easier for people in Connecticut and across the country to enjoy the outdoors, join gyms or purchase workout equipment, and it will prevent disease and illness down the road. It’s a great first step toward getting Americans in shape and lowering health care costs.” 

“To promote healthy choices, we must endorse lowered fitness costs and eliminate financial barriers to physical activities,” said Congressman Kind. “The PHIT Act will make it more affordable and provide necessary incentives for everyone to adopt active lifestyles.” 

“NSGA has been a long-standing advocate for PHIT legislation, and we will continue to press for passage of this important measure,” NSGA President & CEO Matt Carlson said. “Passing PHIT will help remove an important barrier to being active, that of cost. Active Americans are healthier, and healthier people will help reduce the crushing burden on our healthcare system.”

Learn more about the Personal Health Investment Today (PHIT) Act here.

About NSGA

Since 1929, the National Sporting Goods Association has been the leading voice and go-to resource for the sporting goods industry. NSGA helps the sporting goods industry grow its businesses through research, advocacy and networking. For more information about membership or NSGA’s products and services, please visit nsga.org.