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SFIA Hires Health & Tax Lobbyists to Help Pass PHIT Act

Date: 1/14/15

SILVER SPRING, MD – January 14, 2015 – In a major step forward for the Sports & Fitness Industry Association’s (SFIA) Increase Participation Plan (IPP), the association has hired the D. Major Group and West Front Strategies to assist in its lobbying efforts to pass the Personal Health Investment Today (PHIT) Act.

“We are excited to have such a strong group of seasoned professionals to work with on passing the PHIT Act,” said Bill Sells, SFIA Vice President of Government and Public Affairs.  “The combined resources that the D. Major Group and West Front Strategies will dedicate to moving PHIT through Congress is very impressive and will be invaluable as we move forward.”  

The PHIT Act would change the IRS definition of a “medical expense” to include physical activity as a form of prevention. Expanding the medical expense definition would make physical activity expenses reimbursable using pre-tax dollars in Health Savings Accounts and Flexible Spending Accounts. Eligible expenses would include sports and fitness equipment solely used to participate in a physical activity, gym memberships, fitness & exercise classes, youth & adult sports’ registration fees, lessons & clinics and other physical activity expenses. Congress has estimated this definitional change would lead to an additional $2.5 billion investment in the physical activity industry.

The D. Major Group represents some of Washington, DC's top trade associations, nonprofit organizations and Fortune 100 companies. They have a reputation of helping clients develop new industry partnerships and launching issue-based campaigns. The D. Major Group is well-versed in how trends can alter a government relations strategy whether it involves health care reform, federal reimbursement, and in certain cases, tax provisions.

West Front Strategies LLC, (WFS) is a bipartisan government relations firm formed by Capitol Hill, administration, and government affairs veterans. The WFS partners bring together decades of experience in Washington, D.C. policy and public affairs: boots on the ground experience from the Senate, House, the White House and executive agencies.

“The PHIT Act is probably the most important piece of legislation that the sports and fitness industry has ever tried to get passed through Congress,” said PHIT America Founder Jim Baugh.  “Imagine using Pre-Tax Medical Accounts to get reimbursed for sports equipment expenses, road race entry fees, monthly gym memberships, sports instructional camps, and much more. The PHIT Act will help us combat and reverse America’s 'Inactivity Pandemic,' which is having adverse effects on our health care system."
 

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