PHIT Passes House For First Time, Makes History

    The U.S. House of Representatives passed an HSA reform package, which includes PHIT. Now PHIT will move to the Senate for consideration.

    August 8, 2018 Update

    Now that PHIT has passed the House, it's time to rally support for PHIT (S.482) in the Senate. Ask your Senators to support the PHIT Act via this #PassPHIT online campaign.

    July 25, 2018

    Twelve years ago, the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA), the Sports and Fitness Industry Association (SFIA), and the National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity (NCPPA) developed the idea to create a bill that would incentivize more Americans to be physically active.

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    Today, this idea is one step closer to becoming a reality because this afternoon this bill—The Personal Health Investment Today (PHIT) Act—was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives as part of a larger HSA bill package (H.R. 6199) by a vote of 277 to 142.

    The PHIT provision that passed would allow Americans to use tax-free accounts like HSAs and FSAs to pay for qualified fitness expenses, including health club memberships, sports safety equipment, and youth sports fees. Under the current version of the bill, individuals could use up to $500 to cover these expenses and families could use up to $1,000.

    “We knew that there would be increased opportunities to advance this legislation in the 115th Congress and we are thrilled to celebrate this significant victory,” said Helen Durkin, IHRSA's executive vice president of public policy. “While our work on PHIT is not finished, we’d like to take today to thank every individual and organization that has supported healthy lifestyles by speaking up in favor of the benefits that PHIT would provide to our citizens and our nation. Your passion for and commitment to helping others lead active, healthy lives has brought us to this historic moment.”

    PHIT boasts broad bipartisan support. Rep. Jason Smith (R-MO) and Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI) serve as the original House sponsors and their support has been echoed by many others. Currently, PHIT has 153 total sponsors—136 in the House (71 Democrats and 65 Republicans) and 17 in the Senate (6 Democrats and 11 Republicans). Though the bill has been introduced with strong support in each Congress from the 110th through the current 115th, this is the first time it has passed the entire House.

    Today, the House vote for PHIT recognized the need for a healthier, happier, more prosperous America. Now it’s the Senate’s turn to do the same.

    Author avatar

    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.