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IHRSA, Health & Fitness Leaders Urge Congress To Pass PHIT Act

IHRSA, Health & Fitness Leaders Urge Congress To Pass PHIT Act

PHIT Act Congress
The bill, which has bipartisan support, would allow Americans to use pre-tax funds to pay for gym memberships and fitness equipment

Sixty IHRSA members and other health and fitness industry leaders teamed up to kick off the 2023 IHRSA Fly-In & Advocacy Summit in Washington, D.C.

The summit includes informative panels and networking sessions aimed to urge members of Congress to pass the the Personal Health Investment Today (PHIT) Act, which would give Americans the ability to use pre-tax money on healthy living activities.

The bill, H.R. 3109 and S.844, was reintroduced in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives in March. PHIT has received bipartisan support, with Senators John Thune (R-SD) and Chris Murphy (D-CT) leading the Senate effort to pass PHIT ACT and Congressmen Mike Kelly (R-PA) and Jimmy Panetta (D-CA) are spearheading the House campaign.

The PHIT Act allows consumers and families to use pre-tax funds from accounts such as flexible spending accounts and health savings accounts to pay for gym memberships, youth sports and fitness equipment. 

If it gets through Congress, the PHIT Act would amend the IRS code to treat physical activity as preventive health care covered by allowable FSA/HSA spending, similar to items such as glasses and wellness-related over-the-counter products. It would allow a medical care tax deduction of up to $1,000 per year for qualified sports and fitness expenses ($2,000 for a joint return or a head of household).

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Proponents say the goal is to provide Americans with favorable tax treatment for investing in activities that benefit their health or their children’s physical and mental health. 

Moderators and panelists of the IHRSA summit include Liz Clark, president and CEO of IHRSA; Amy Bantham, president of the Physical Activity Alliance;  Catherine Oakar, special assistant to the president for Public Health and Disparities; Katrina Piercy, PhD, RD, FACSM, director, Division of Prevention Science, Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion; Sarah Schmidt, MPH, health policy director, Office of Senate Minority Whip John Thune (R-SD); Dan Bornstein, Ph.D., founding principal, DBornstein Solutions, LLC; and Michael McGurk, 1st degree, director, Research and Analysis, US ARMY CIMT-TRADOC, Army Combat Fitness Test. 

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