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Murphy, Thune, Kelly, Panetta Introduce Bill to Incentivize Healthy … – Senator Chris Murphy

Murphy, Thune, Kelly, Panetta Introduce Bill to Incentivize Healthy ... - Senator Chris Murphy

Senators Chris Murphy (D-Conn.)
, a member of the U.S. Senate Health,
Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, and John Thune (R-S.D.) and
U.S. Representatives Mike Kelly (R-Pa.) and Jimmy Panetta (D-Calif.)
reintroduced the Personal Health Investment Today (PHIT) Act.
This bipartisan, bicameral legislation would encourage physical activity and
incentivize healthier living by allowing Americans to use a portion of the
money saved in their pre-tax health savings account (HSA) and flexible spending
account (FSA) toward qualified sports and fitness purchases, such as gym
memberships, fitness equipment, and youth sports league fees.

“Joining a local
gym or signing your kids up for little league are great ways for families to
get healthy and connect with their community, but those fees can be really
expensive,” said Murphy. “This bipartisan legislation would allow people
to use their flexible spending accounts to cover those expenses. It’s a smart
investment that would help more Americans prioritize their health, lead active
lives, and connect with others.”

“As a lifelong
athlete and fitness enthusiast, I understand the value of having access to gyms
and fitness equipment, and I’m grateful for those opportunities,” said
“For some Americans, though, certain gym or athletic league
membership costs can be prohibitive, keeping them from pursuing healthy habits
like exercising or participating in other physical activities. By giving
Americans greater flexibility with their HSAs and FSAs, we can empower people
to make healthy choices, get active, and hopefully prevent the onset of costly
chronic conditions.”

“As a former
college football player and youth football coach myself, I’ve seen young
Americans greatly improve their lives because they were able to join a team and
play sports,” said Kelly. “This bill gives kids, especially those in
underserved or low-income communities, a real chance to play the sport of their
choice. This isn’t just about athletics: it’s about gaining critical
team-building and character-building traits that stay with kids for the rest of
their lives. I thank the National Football League, National Hockey League,
National Basketball Association, and Major League Baseball for supporting our

“With families
tightening their belts, gyms, youth sports leagues, and other exercise classes
have become less and less affordable and accessible,” said Panetta. “I’m
proud to reintroduce the PHIT Act alongside Rep. Kelly and Sens. Thune and
Murphy to provide financial incentives for families to really invest in
physical activity for their kids and themselves. An active lifestyle is the
best preventative medicine, and by encouraging these habits we can promote healthier

The legislation
is cosponsored by U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Shelley Moore Capito
(R-W.Va.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Tim Scott (R-S.C.),
Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and
U.S. Reps. Brendan Boyle (D-Pa.), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.), Darin LaHood
(R-Ill.), and Terri Sewell (D-Ala.).  

“The pandemic
gave us a new appreciation for the physical and mental health benefits of
activity,” said Tom Cove, president and CEO of the Sports and Fitness
Industry Association (SFIA).
“The PHIT Act is a common sense solution to
allow more Americans to participate in sports, exercise and recreate in the
outdoors by making such activities more affordable and accessible. SFIA applauds
Senators Thune and Murphy and Congressmen Kelly and Panetta for their strong
commitment to improving the health of every American, and we pledge to work
worth with our congressional champions to pass the PHIT Act.”

“The National
Football League (NFL) is pleased to support the PHIT Act, which is sensible,
bipartisan legislation that makes participation in youth sports and physical
activity more accessible and affordable for more Americans,” said Brendon
Plack, senior vice president of public policy and government affairs at the NFL
“Encouraging youth to adopt active lifestyles and healthy habits has been a
cornerstone of the league’s commitment to community, and the PHIT Act helps to
further advance that important goal. We look forward to working with the bill’s
sponsors in Congress, as well as other stakeholders in the sports community to
move the bill across the goal line. Enacting the PHIT Act into law will mark a
victory in the ongoing effort to promote and support healthy and active
families across the country.”   

“At the National
Hockey League (NHL), we believe that hockey is for everyone, and that’s why we
support efforts in Congress to advance the PHIT Act, which would help make
sports more affordable for all who have a passion and love for the game,
regardless of socio-economic status,” said Kim Davis, senior executive and
vice president of social impact, growth initiatives and legislative affairs at
the NHL.
“Data consistently shows that participating in youth sports can
lead to immediate and long-term physical, mental and economic benefits for
players, their families and their communities. The PHIT Act would directly help
countless American families access these invaluable sports opportunities.”

“Every child
deserves the right to be healthy,” said Wayne B. Moss, executive director of
the National Council of Youth Sports.
“Youth sports is a fun pathway to
healthy lifestyles and leads to positive physical, social and emotional
outcomes. Sports also serves as a protective factor for risky behavior. The
PHIT Act will reduce participation barriers and allow more young people to
participate. This bipartisan legislation will help mitigate the physical and
mental health challenges created by COVID-19.” 

especially our children, need to be more active,” said Jon Butler, executive
director of Pop Warner Little Scholars.
“Studies have shown that children
who are physically active do better academically in school. Being active is
also a good means of enhancing mood elevation and self-esteem. Passing the PHIT
Act to lower activity costs will help families with youth sports expenses and
increase participation in sports for improved health.”

expenses do not include: private clubs owned and operated by members or clubs
with golf, hunting, sailing, or riding facilities. In the case of sports
equipment (other than exercise equipment), reimbursement for a single item
cannot exceed $250, and these pre-tax dollars cannot be used for general
fitness apparel or footwear. 


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