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PHIT Bill Gains 10 Congressional Sponsors Thanks to SFIA's National Health through Fitness Day Efforts

Date: 4/23/13

SILVER SPRING, MD – April 23, 2013 – Following up on the success of National Health Through Fitness Day (NHTF), 10 representatives from both political parties have signed on in support of the Personal Health Investment Today Act – H.R.956 (PHIT). The bill, which has garnered bi-partisan support, would expand eligible reimbursement expenses from pre-tax accounts to cover physical activity costs. 
“This year there is a different feeling on Capitol Hill when it comes to PHIT.  Members of Congress are familiar with the bill and much more comfortable with it,” said Bill Sells, SFIA VP Government & Public Affairs. “As I follow-up on our National Health Through Fitness Day meetings, I’m hearing very positive feedback and we’ve picked up sponsors quickly. PHIT was introduced in mid-March and to have double digit sponsors a month later is outstanding.  The big reasons for the success is our message works with the current environment in Washington and NHTF Day participants have become really good at delivering the message. With the launch of PHIT America, we have a vehicle to keep PHIT in people’s minds year-round.”
PHIT America is a year-round, educational, advocacy, and social media marketing campaign designed to reach millions of Americans. PHIT America will combat the obesity and sedentary activity crisis -- which is having an adverse effect on health care costs in the U.S. -- by promoting new legislation and grassroots programs that will help Americans get more active, participate in more sports and ultimately become fit and healthy.
“The reactions to the PHIT Act during National Health Through Fitness Day were very encouraging,” says Jim Baugh, Founder of PHIT America. “Securing 10 new Congressional Sponsors confirms that there is growing support on Capitol Hill for incentivizing Americans to take an active role in driving down the obesity crisis and ultimately, our nation’s rising healthcare costs. I know we have a lot of work to do to pass the PHIT Act but this is significant progress.”
As a founding sponsor of PHIT America, SFIA, along with the other PHIT America sponsors, will continue to work to drive the PHIT legislation through Congress. The 10 current cosponsors of PHIT are Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX), Rep. Tom Graves (R-GA), Rep. Mike McIntyre (D-NC), Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO), Rep. Cedric L. Richmond (D-LA), Rep. Dana Rohrbacher (R-CA), Rep. Jon Runyan (R-NJ), Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD), Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-PA), and Rep. Albio Sires (D-NJ).
“If Congress hears from different groups and their constituents back home all pushing for the PHIT legislation, it is hard to ignore. The timing is perfect with tax reform on the Congressional Agenda and health care costs driving up our national debt. PHIT fits in very nicely with those two issues and that helps explain why it enjoys such strong bi-partisan support,” concluded Sells.

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