WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator David Perdue, R-Ga., is taking action to incentivize healthier living and encourage more physical activity in the United States.
The senator cosponsored the bipartisan Personal Health Investment Today Act, which would allow Americans to use a portion of pre-tax health savings accounts and flexible spending accounts toward qualified sports and fitness purchases, like gym memberships, fitness equipment and youth sports league fees.
“Having spent a portion of my career working in the fitness industry, I know how important exercise is to physical, mental and emotional health,” Perdue said in a news release. “Today, physical inactivity is estimated to cost Americans $117 billion each year. This is alarming, and it can be prevented. The PHIT Act encourages Americans to get active by allowing them to use pre-tax dollars toward certain fitness expenses. This is a good, bipartisan step toward preventing chronic diseases and ultimately getting at the real drivers of spiraling health care costs.”
“I applaud Senator Perdue for his leadership on bringing down long term health costs by encouraging Americans to live active, healthy lifestyles,” said Herschel Walker, a member of President Trump’s Council on Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition.
“Providing for the health of our children’s future is one of the best investments Congress can make,” said Wayne B. Moss, Executive Director of the National Council of Youth Sports. “For many youths, the cost of participating in sports can be just out of range for their families’ budget. Giving Americans the opportunity to use their Health Saving Accounts will help eliminate barriers to participation and increase the number of young people participating in organized sports. In addition to the physical benefits sports provide, the research shows sports increases academic performance and self-esteem while reducing risky behaviors.”
Qualified 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.
The PHIT Act is cosponsored by Senators John Thune, R-S.Dak.; Chris Murphy, D-Conn.; John Barrasso, R-Wyo.; John Boozman, R-Ariz.; Shelley Moore Capito, R-W. Va.; Kevin Cramer, R-N.Dak.; Johnny Isakson, R-Ga.; Angus King, I-Maine; Gary Peters, D-Mich.; Mike Rounds, R-S.Dak.; Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., and Roger Wicker, R-Miss.