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Policy Corner: House Ways and Means Passes ACSM-Backed PHIT Act

On Thursday, July 12, 2018, the House Ways and Means Committee passed H.R. 6312, the Personal Health Investment Today (PHIT) Act by a vote of 28-7. The legislation now moves to the full House of Representatives where it is expected to be considered during the last week of July.

The PHIT Act, sponsored by representatives Jason Smith (R-MO) and Ron Kind (D-WI), would amend the Internal Revenue Code to allow a medical care tax deduction in health savings accounts for up to $1,000 ($500 single filer) of qualified sports and fitness expenses per year. The bill defines "qualified sports and fitness expenses" as amounts paid exclusively for the sole purpose of participating in a physical activity, including: (1) fitness facility memberships, (2) physical exercise or activity programs, and (3) safety equipment for a physical exercise or activity program.

Cost has become a barrier to activity for too many Americans, and the PHIT Act will lower this barrier to help move more Americans from inactive to active. The PHIT Act provides Americans with the ability to invest in active, healthy activities that promote improved health. ACSM has been actively involved in advocating for the PHIT Act through direct advocacy, its annual Capitol Hill Day and Action Alerts, and will continue to push for its adoption into law. While there is still much to be done, passage by the House Ways and Means Committee is a big first step. ACSM will continue its efforts to advocate for the legislation and will work with Congress to ensure that the legislation meets its intended goals of creating health care policy that promotes active, healthy lifestyles.

If you have any questions, contact Monte Ward, ACSM vice president of government relations at mward@acsm.org. more


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