U.S. Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), members of the Senate Finance Committee, and U.S. Reps. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.) and Jimmy Panetta (D-Calif.), members of the House Committee on Ways and Means, today reintroduced the Personal Health Investment Today (PHIT) Act. This bipartisan, bicameral legislation would encourage physical activity and incentivize healthier living by allowing Americans to use a portion of the money saved in their pre-tax health savings account (HSA) and flexible spending account (FSA) toward qualified sports and fitness purchases, such as gym memberships, fitness equipment, and youth sports league fees.
"As a lifelong athlete and fitness enthusiast, I understand the value of having access to gyms and fitness equipment, and I'm grateful for those opportunities," said Thune. "For some Americans, though, certain gym or athletic league membership costs can be prohibitive, keeping them from pursuing healthy habits like exercising or participating in other physical activities. By giving Americans greater flexibility with their HSAs and FSAs, we can empower people to make healthy choices, get active, and hopefully prevent the onset of costly chronic conditions."
"Joining a local gym or signing your kids up for little league are great ways for families to get healthy and connect with their community, but those fees can be really expensive," said Murphy. "This bipartisan legislation would allow people to use their flexible spending accounts to cover those expenses. It's a smart investment that would help more Americans prioritize their health, lead active lives, and connect with others."
"As a former college football player and youth football coach myself, I've seen young Americans greatly improve their lives because they were able to join a team and play sports," said Kelly. "This bill gives kids, especially those in underserved or low-income communities, a real chance to play the sport of their choice. This isn't just about athletics: it's about gaining critical team-building and character-building traits that stay with kids for the rest of their lives. I thank the National Football League, National Hockey League, National Basketball Association, and Major League Baseball for supporting our efforts."
"With families tightening their belts, gyms, youth sports leagues, and other exercise classes have become less and less affordable and accessible," said Panetta. "I'm proud to reintroduce the PHIT Act alongside Rep. Kelly and Sens. Thune and Murphy to provide financial incentives for families to really invest in physical activity for their kids and themselves. An active lifestyle is the best preventative medicine, and by encouraging these habits we can promote healthier communities."
The legislation is cosponsored by U.S. Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and U.S. Reps. Brendan Boyle (D-Pa.), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.), Darin LaHood (R-Ill.), and Terri Sewell (D-Ala.).