Several IHRSA members and staff, along with members of the PHIT Coalition, conducted a lobby day on Capitol Hill today to generate additional support for the PHIT Act.
Members of the PHIT Coalition, co-chaired by IHRSA and the Sports and Fitness Industry Association (SFIA), met with members of the House and the Senate, asking them to co-sponsor the PHIT Act. Currently, PHIT has 101 bipartisan sponsors, with 88 from the House and 13 from the Senate.
PHIT, the Personal Health Investment Today Act, would allow Americans to use flexible spending accounts (FSAs) and health savings accounts (HSAs) to pay for health club memberships, fitness equipment, exercise videos and youth sports league fees. If passed, it would allow individuals to tap their pre-tax account up to $1,000 per year to cover these expenses—families would be granted up to $2,000.
In addition to the day’s lobbying efforts, members of IHRSA’s Board of Directors are presenting the first-ever “IHRSA Get Active Leadership Award” to Congressional Fitness Caucus co-chairs, Representatives Ron Kind (D-WI) and Bob Dold (R-IL). This inaugural award honors Members of Congress with especially strong track records of supporting policy initiatives that promote physical activity.
“This lobbying day provides the perfect occasion to rightfully acknowledge and honor Reps. Kind and Dold for their long-term commitment to helping Americans live healthy lifestyles,” says Helen Durkin, IHRSA’s executive vice president of public policy. “By presenting them with the ‘Get Active Leadership Award’, we hope to raise the visibility of their efforts and to inspire others on Capitol Hill to recognize the important role that public policy has to play in enabling all Americans to embrace and live more physically active lives.”
Missy Moss, Steve Cappezone and Allison Flatley, members of IHRSA’s Board of Directors; Suzanne Trainor, IHRSA’s public policy assistant, and Tom Scanlon and Jay Sweeney, the association’s Washington D.C. lobbyists, represented IHRSA and its members at the event.