WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 12, 2018) — The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Ways & Means approved the Personal Health Investment Today (PHIT) Act by a vote of 28-6. The PHIT Act will be part of a larger package of health savings account (HSA) reform measures that the full House will vote on later this month.
The PHIT Act will make physical activity expenses—including certain tennis and racquet sport expenses—reimbursable through pre-tax dollars in Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs). Expenses eligible for reimbursement under the PHIT Act include fitness & exercise classes; sport/activity camps and clinics; youth & adult sports’ registration fees; sports and fitness equipment solely used to participate in a physical activity; instructional lessons and clinics; running & fitness event registration fees; yoga; and other physical activity expenses.
The PHIT bill was drafted in 2006 by the Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA) and introduced to the House committee by former member Jerry Weller (D-IL) in 2007. Support for the measure has been building over the last 10 years. The SFIA, PHIT America, and other leaders in the sports, health, and fitness industries have been pushing for the PHIT Act to be approved by Congress for more than a decade.
“We are very encouraged by the progress the PHIT Act made today in Congress; this is the closest PHIT has come to becoming law since its inception,” SFIA President and CEO Tom Cove told SGB Media. “While the positive vote today has left us very hopeful that it will pass this year, we still have work to do. SFIA remains committed to leading the effort to increase activity in America.”
“This is tremendous news and it’s encouraging that our voices are being heard in Washington, D.C. by our national legislators,” added PHIT America Founder Jim Baugh, in a separate statement. “Passage of the PHIT Act will make physical activity more affordable for all Americans, especially families.
According to SFIA’s Vice President of Government Relations Bill Sells, who was present in the hearing when the votes were cast, the PHIT Act passed with significant bi-partisan support.