PHIT Update: Promoting Wellness Via Healthcare Politics

 

Health coverage, costs, and care have changed dramatically over the past few years, and continue to do so. Keeping up with the latest is a challenge, but one fact remains the same: Preventative care and healthy habits promote better wellness and are far less expensive than treating illness. In fact, The World Health Organization reported that in the U.S. an investment of $1 in physical activity leads to $3.20 in medical costs savings.1

How PHIT can help

The Personal Health Investment Today (PHIT) Act, introduced in early 2013, will allow Americans to use Pre-Tax Medical Accounts to pay for physical activity expenses. The PHIT Act will provide an incentive for adults and their children to get fit which will help prevent healthcare costs related to preventable chronic diseases.

Imagine being able to place up to $2,000 a year in existing pre-tax medical accounts for reimbursement of physical activity expenses such as health club membership dues, pay-to-play youth sports or youth camps. Many Americans have a similar pre-tax spending account for medical expenses – specifically for when they are already sick. Why not encourage the same incentive for prevention?

That’s what the PHIT Act is all about.

Here at ACTIVE, we’ve been covering the PHIT Act since it was introduced in 2013 because we know activity is the best medicine.

See past articles to learn more.

2017 PHIT Update

Momentum and support continue to mount as organizations, citizens and politicians rally to support the passing of the PHIT Act. Most recently:

  • In conjunction with Global Running Day on June 7, ASICS American Corporation will donate $1 to PHIT America for every runner who logs 60 minutes of run time between May 30th and June 6th.2
  • In May, the PHIT Act reached support from 50 Members of Congress with the addition of Congressman Joe Barton (R-Tex.). This is the third Congress in a row PHIT has reached the 50 co-sponsor mark and it is currently halfway to the record 102 co-sponsors of 2016.3
  • An independent study conducted by the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) concluded nearly 80 percent of parents and 77 percent of millennials are in favor of the PHIT Act.
  • The PHIT Coalition is currently led by leaders in the health industry such as the American Heart Association, American Council on Exercise, The Boys and Girls Clubs of America, American College of Sports Medicine, The Cooper Institute, The International Health & Racquet Sports Association, The Outdoor Industry Association, People for Bikes and The National Recreation and Parks Association.

Despite the political climate around healthcare, the future of the PHIT Act is optimistic. According to PHIT America, the PHIT Act is one of the few pieces of healthcare legislation to enjoy strong bi-partisan support. They believe momentum is extremely positive for passage in 2017.

How You Can Help

PHIT needs your help. According to the  PHIT America website, the five best ways to support the act are:

  • Email your Member of Congress now – Use this simple digital tool to Advocate Now.
  • Call your Representatives – Let them know how important you feel the PHIT Act is to the future of our country.
  • Write a personal letter to your representatives – This ‘old fashion’ way is still the most effective.
  • Launch a social media campaign to spread the word on the PHIT Act.
  • Network – Tell your friends to do the same.

The work you do is all about creating healthier, active communities. The PHIT Act will make healthy lifestyles more affordable for our communities.

Sources:

1PHIT America

2PRNewswire: ASICS invites America to Turn Workouts Into a Charitable Cause on Global Running Day. 

3SGBonline: PHIT support from Congress Growing

Gina Calvert

Gina is the Senior Marketing Writer for ACTIVE Network, providing marketing and business resources for active lifestyle organizations across a range of markets, including government, nonprofits, YMCAs, Parks & Recs, camps, schools and endurance events, for almost 7 years.

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