FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SILVER SPRING, MD (March 18, 2021) - Today, Senators Chris Murphy (D-CT) and John Thune (R-SD) reintroduced the Personal Health Investment Today (PHIT) Act in Congress. The PHIT Act will make sports and fitness more affordable to Americans, as the country recognizes the value of physical activity in promoting good health. The PHIT Act will allow pre-tax Flexible Spending (FSA) and Health Savings (HSA) Accounts to cover the costs of activity-related expenses, such as youth sports fees, health club dues, training costs, and purchase of sports and fitness equipment. In 2020, almost 4,000 organizations, businesses and medical groups sent letters to Congress requesting passage of the PHIT Act to inspire Americans to be more active.
"The pandemic highlighted a critical issue: inactive individuals were at higher risk of severe COVID outcomes," said SFIA CEO & President, Tom Cove. "We also know that recessions typically drive down sports and physical activity participation rates. Making PHIT law will make a huge difference to encourage and assist families and individuals to be active at this most critical time. SFIA applauds Senators Murphy and Thune for their leadership in helping Americans live more active and healthy lives."
"Now more than ever, particularly as the country begins to recover from the Coronavirus pandemic, we need to do more to reduce barriers to play and improve the opportunity for all kids to get in the game," said Kim Davis, NHL Senior Executive Vice President of Social Impact, Growth Initiatives and Legislative Affairs. "The PHIT Act will help families get back on the ice after more than year of navigating uncertainty, and we commend Senators Chris Murphy and John Thune for leading this important effort to encourage fitness and access to sport."
Chris Clawson, CEO of Life Fitness, stated, "Physical activity and exercise are recognized solutions in the battle to stem the global obesity crisis that has been a major contributing factor to Covid-19 mortality rates, particularly in the United States. Much like people use preventative dentistry to avoid catastrophic oral issues, we believe the PHIT Act will encourage citizens from all walks of life and economic levels to proactively utilize their HSA and FSA accounts to become more active in fitness, exercise and sports to improve their overall physical and mental health."
Nearly 70 million Americans have access to pre-tax medical accounts. The PHIT Act would allow a preventative approach to costly chronic conditions like obesity, diabetes, heart disease, depression and respiratory illness, rather than paying more to treat them over a lifetime.
The PHIT Act has historically garnered Congressional support from both parties strongly aligned on a push to get America moving. Passing PHIT is a top priority for SFIA's public policy program, and SFIA will continue to work with member companies, partners and friends to secure PHIT's approval in Congress and signed into law by President Biden.
ABOUT SFIA: The Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA), the #1 source for sport and fitness research, is the leading global trade association of manufacturers, retailers, and marketers in the sports products and fitness industry. SFIA seeks to promote sports and fitness participation, as well as industry vitality through research, thought leadership, public affairs, industry affairs and member services. For more information, please visit www.sfia.org.