SFIA and PHIT Coalition Promote PHIT Act to Congress to Lower Activity Costs
Silver Spring, MD, September 27, 2016 – Last Wednesday, September 21, the Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA) along with 15 PHIT Coalition Organizations and Companies met with Congress to promote the Personal Health Investment Today (PHIT) Act. This legislation, currently pending before Congress, will expand the IRS definition of a “medical expense” to include physical activity as a form of prevention.
The PHIT Coalition conducted 50 meetings with Congressional Leadership and Members of the House and Senate Tax Committees. The goal of the day was to increase awareness of the growing inactivity pandemic facing our country and push for passage of PHIT to lower the cost of active lifestyles.
“Congress is very receptive to the PHIT Act, they understand cost has become a barrier to activity and how the PHIT Act can help make activity more affordable,” said Bill Sells, SFIA Senior Vice President of Public Affairs. “With 9 out of 10 people in the U.S. on a health plan, the PHIT Act has the potential to help 90 percent of Americans with activity expenses,” he added.
The Congressional response to the PHIT Act was favorable with several new co-sponsors signing onto the bill. The PHIT Act now has over 100 co-sponsors and enjoys support from Congressional Leadership and Tax Committee Chairmen.
SFIA is working with its PHIT Coalition partners to get the bill included in year-end tax legislation. To help raise awareness of this bi-partisan legislation, SFIA will launch a full scale Social Media Campaign to engage consumers in the campaign to pass the PHIT Act this year.
“Lowering costs and making activity tax-free will encourage investment in healthy behavior. We cannot medicate ourselves to improved health, it will require a culture change to healthier lifestyles,” commented Sells. “PHIT is a simple common sense way to promote healthy behavior, which explains why it enjoys strong bi-partisan support from more than 100 Members of Congress.”
Expenses eligible for reimbursement under the PHIT Act include sports and fitness equipment solely used to participate in a physical activity, health club memberships, fitness & exercise classes, sport/activity camps & clinics, youth & adult sports’ fees, lessons & clinics, running & fitness event registrations, yoga classes and instruction, recreational activities and other physical activity expenses. Passing the PHIT Act will make physical activity more affordable for all Americans, especially families dealing with youth activity expenses that did not exist previously.
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.