Lead sponsors of the Personal Health Investment Today (PHIT) Act, Reps. Ron Kind (D-WI) and Mike Kelly (R-PA), recently sent letters to all members of the House seeking additional support for the bill, which has been lobbied for extensively by the Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA).
The bipartisan bill, which allow individuals to pay for activity-related expenses with pre-tax dollars, has the support of 33 Republicans and 36 Democrats in the House. The letter penned by the Congressmen outlined the many covered expenses that would qualify under PHIT. Among them: gym memberships, youth camps, league fees, sports equipment and fitness classes.
In the letter, Kind wrote, “The PHIT Act lowers the financial barrier to activity to encourage healthier lifestyles, which in turn, will reduce overall health care spending.”
In related news, the nonprofit PHIT America organization offered details on its new before-school walking and running initiative, AMPED, designed to amplify education with exercise. Currently, 82 U.S. elementary schools across 24 states have implemented the AMPED program, which impacts 44,000 schoolchildren. Over the last four years, PHIT America has awarded its GO! Grants to 730 elementary school physical education programs in 39 states to provide new physical fitness avenues to more than 400,000 students.
“With more GO! Grant-funded P.E. programs, we are seeing children with increased attention spans, positive moods, and improved school camaraderie,” said Natalie Hummel, the executive director and co-founder of the KIDS in the GAME nonproft, which manages PHIT’s Go! Grants.