In one of the most divisive periods of our nation’s history, it’s exciting to find bipartisan issues. Thankfully, fitness appears to be one of those. Healthcare has been a major topic of every presidential election in recent history. Washington can discuss policy all day long, but most of us realize that the true solution to America’s healthcare problems will come from people taking fitness into their own hands. Being in good shape, after all, is the best kind of preventative care.
The PHIT (Personal Health Investment Today) Act could be the first of many steps that will aim for a preventative solution to America’s declining health, rather than a reactive solution. We need more programs and awareness efforts that focus on the root of the problem: inactivity, overeating, unhealthy work cultures, and the removal or dilution of physical education classes. If healthcare remains wholly focused on treating the symptoms of this crisis instead of addressing the cause, then our nation will ironically find itself on a treadmill with no way forward.
What is the PHIT Act?
“The PHIT Act is legislation pending in Congress which will allow Americans to use Pre-Tax Medical Accounts to pay for physical activity expenses. The PHIT Act will provide an incentive for adults and their children to get fit which will help prevent healthcare costs related to preventable chronic diseases.”
Translation: You can set aside money for things like gym memberships and personal training that won’t count as taxable income – saving you nearly 30% annually on these kinds of costs!
How would the PHIT Act Work?
“Currently, pre-tax medical accounts are primarily used for reimbursement of medical expenses once you become sick. PHIT would allow taxpayers to place up to $2,000 a year in existing Pre-Tax medical accounts for reimbursement of physical activity expenses. Lower costs will promote active lifestyles and improve the health of Americans.
“The PHIT Act will put prevention in our healthcare system. What we have today is basically “sickcare”. PHIT will help promote ‘wellness care,’ or true healthcare.”
Translation: You can set up a bank account with some money set aside for your fitness expenses. At the end of the year you can reimburse yourself with the money you’ve saved, and note on your tax return form that you’ve done so, and you will have saved roughly 30% on those costs.
Help Pass the PHIT Act:
PHITAmerica.org has a nice and simple form where you can write your representatives to show your support for this act!
Why this matters:
Whether you want to save some money for your healthy activities or not, passing the PHIT act would be an indicator of positive change. Advocacy for this issue supports fitness as a proactive health and wellness solution. Only through preventative work will we start to put a dent in our nation’s INSANE healthcare cost issue. It’s also a sign that while parties are more divided than ever, fitness is something that brings people together – and that’s something to rally behind!