BOSTON, MA—December 4, 2018—Congress is in session for just a few weeks in December (referred to as a lame-duck session). During this short window, Congress needs to pass a spending bill and has a few other bills on its docket.
IHRSA, the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association, working with association members and a coalition of physical activity proponents, is actively working to get PHIT, or the Personal Health Investment Today Act, passed in the waning weeks of the 115th Congress. The best opportunity to pass PHIT—legislation that would make physical activity more affordable by allowing pre-tax savings accounts to pay for sports and activities—would be to attach it to a moving piece of legislation. Helen Durkin, IHRSA’s executive vice president of public policy, says, “While things seem to be changing almost on an hourly basis, the main opportunities will come from either a tax package or a government funding bill.”
Jim Worthington, chair of the IHRSA Board of Directors and owner of the Newtown Athletic Club in Newtown, PA, spoke about the importance of this bill, and how taking action now is critical. “The time to act on PHIT is now! The PHIT bill currently sits in the Senate. The next few days are critical, which is why everyone in the industry needs to reach out to their senators today. This is our last and only shot to get PHIT included in moving legislation this year.”
IHRSA has created two grass-roots campaigns to make it easy for both consumers and fitness industry professionals to ask their senators to support PHIT in any moving legislation.
- Fitness Professionals should act here.
- Fitness professionals should share this link with their members and customers.
Worthington added, “We are on the doorstep. If we don’t get PHIT passed this month, we start all over again at square one in January. Since PHIT passed the House in July of this year, this is the closest PHIT ever been to becoming real.”
What You Need to Do
Whatever it takes, call on your friends, call on any connections you may have, and call the senator’s office directly to speak to staff.
Reach out to both of your senators and ask them to support the inclusion of PHIT language in any package of bills that are moving and ask that they ask leadership to include PHIT. If you have a friend, a business associate, even members who have a close relationship with either of your senators, now is the time to ask them to use those contacts.
It is that simple. If you need any other information, IHRSA's PHIT page has everything you need. In addition to the direct campaign links, the bottom-left of the page contains links to your senators and their contact information, along with talking points and fact sheets about PHIT that could be helpful if you are asking a friend to reach out on behalf of PHIT.
The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) is a global community of health and fitness industry professionals. IHRSA's mission is to grow, promote, and protect the health and fitness industry, and highlights the critical role our industry plays in solving the inactivity crisis. IHRSA and its members are dedicated to making the world healthier, happier, and more productive through regular exercise.