The PHIT Act on July 12 was voted through the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Ways and Means, meaning the long-proposed legislation is eligible for consideration by the full House as soon as July 23.
The Personal Health Investment Today (PHIT) Act has been introduced in both the House and U.S. Senate numerous times in the last decade, with the House bill being most recently introduced by Rep. Jason Smith (R-MO) in March 2017. It currently has 135 bipartisan sponsors.
On July 12, the act passed through the committee with a vote of 28-7.
“This is tremendous news, and it’s encouraging that our voices are being heard in Washington, D.C., by our national legislators,” PHIT America founder Jim Baugh said in a media release. “Passage of the PHIT Act will make physical activity more affordable for all Americans, especially families.
The PHIT Act would amend the existing IRS code to allow for a medical care tax deduction on qualified purchases for up to $1,000 per taxpayer or $2,000 for married couples filing jointly or heads of household, according to the proposed bill.
Under these revisions, physical activity expenses—including gym memberships and youth and adult sports registration fees—would become reimbursable through pre-tax dollars via health savings accounts (HSAs) and flexible spending accounts (FSAs), allowing consumers to deduct related costs after meeting the 10 percent of income threshold on medical expenses.
Nonprofit campaign PHIT America is encouraging fitness industry professionals to lobby their members of Congress to pass the PHIT Act, which will be considered as part of HSA reform legislation in late July.
Anyone wanting to do so can visit PassThePHITAct.org and input their zip code.
For more information about the PHIT Act, visit PhitAmerica.org/Leglislation/PHIT_Act.