The U.S. House of Representatives passed House Resolution 6199, the Restoring Access to Medication and Modernizing Health Savings Accounts Act of 2018, by a vote of 277-142. The Personal Health Investment Today (PHIT) Act, a bill that provides Americans with the ability to invest in active, healthy activities that promote improved health, was included as part of H.R. 6199. The legislation now moves to the Senate for consideration.
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 fitness facility memberships, physical exercise or activity programs, and safety equipment for a physical exercise or activity program.
“The number of individuals not meeting physical activity guidelines is staggering, and cost has become a barrier for too many Americans,” said Jim Whitehead, CEO and Executive Vice President for the American College of Sports Medicine. “The PHIT Act will lower this barrier and help move more Americans from inactive to active, addressing a critical health issue in our culture today.”
ACSM has been actively involved in advocating for the PHIT Act through direct advocacy, its annual Capitol Hill Day and Action Alerts, and it will push for its adoption into law. As the bill continues down the legislative path, ACSM will work with Congress to ensure that the legislation meets its intended goals of creating health care policy that promotes active, healthy lifestyles.