HSA Bill Best Opportunity Yet to Pass PHIT

    PHIT will pass if the omnibus spending bill—set for March 23—includes the Bipartisan HSA Improvement Act.

    Boston — March 8, 2018 — Last week, Congressman Mike Kelly (R-PA) introduced the Bipartisan HSA Improvement Act (H.R. 5138). This Health Savings Accounts (HSA) reform bill bundles a number of HSA bills, including the Personal Health Investment Today (PHIT) Act, legislation that would make access to physical activity more affordable, by allowing HSA and FSA savings accounts to cover fitness and sports expenses.

    This means PHIT will pass if the omnibus spending bill—set for March 23—includes the HSA reform bill.

    Unfortunately, many citizens remain unaware that legislation that would make their healthy lifestyles more affordable exists, so now is the time for the fitness industry to engage its staff members and its customers, and encourage them to take immediate action to ensure PHIT’s passage.

    PHIT will pass if the omnibus spending bill includes the current HSA bill, and the current political environment creates an ideal scenario for passage because:

    • Rep. Kelly is determined to push for the HSA bill to be included in the next omnibus spending bill, and as a member of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, he is well positioned to achieve what he desires.
    • PHIT will have additional lobbying power. By packaging PHIT into a larger HSA reform package, a broader coalition of business groups—including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, The ERISA Industry Committee and America’s Health Insurance Plans—will also be advocating on behalf of passage.
    • There is substantial bipartisan support for PHIT—110 representatives in the House and 15 in the Senate—which will help carry the bill forward.

    If politics keep the HSA bill out of the omnibus, there will still be several opportunities to pass PHIT since Congress and the White House support HSA reform and PHIT is in all HSA reform bills. But getting PHIT passed now in the omnibus or as part of another bill depends on the voices of the industry. We need your passion and determination to push this HSA bill through Congress. You are the ones that witness the benefits of physical activity every day when health club veterans and newcomers walk the halls of your facilities, and you must share your unique perspective with your lawmakers, so they recognize why this legislation is imperative for the future health of our nation.

    We can accomplish much more when the entire industry speaks up. Each voice is important, so we urge you to join the hundreds of industry professionals and health club consumers that have already asked their members of Congress to support the Bipartisan HSA Improvement Act (H.R. 5138). We must bridge the gap between the proven benefits of exercise and preconceived judgments about why exercise and health club membership is not simply a nicety, but a gateway to a healthier society. Act now. IHRSA, the industry, and our country need your help.

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    Shannon Vogler @vogler_shannon

    Shannon Vogler is the Communications and Public Relations Coordinator for IHRSA. Shannon writes articles, press releases, and the IHRSA Advocate newsletter to make IHRSA members aware of policy issues that impact health clubs. She also speaks with media influencers about the benefits of working out and joining a gym. When she's not writing, Shannon enjoys running and cheering for the New England Patriots.