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Rep. Ron Kind Introduces Bipartisan Bill to Improve Health and Make Fitness More Affordable for Wisconsin Families

May 11, 2021
Press Release

Washington, DC – Today, Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI) introduced the bipartisan Personal Health Investment Today (PHIT) Act, legislation that will make it more affordable for Wisconsin families to invest in their health and participate in regular physical activity. Rep. Kind was joined in leading this bipartisan bill by Reps. Terri Sewell (D-AL)Mike Kelly (R-PA), and Darin LaHood (R-IL). 

“Staying active is the best preventative medicine, and it’s especially important for kids and teens as they build healthy habits,” said Rep. Ron Kind. “Unfortunately, for many families, cost can be a barrier to participating in physical activities and youth sports. The PHIT Act is a commonsense way to invest in a healthy future for our children by making it more affordable for families to ensure physical activity is a regular part of their lives.”  

“As our Nation Builds Back Better from the COVID-19 public health crisis and subsequent economic crisis, it is critically important that we continue to invest in the health and well-being of Alabamians and all Americans,” said Rep. Terri Sewell. “The PHIT Act would work to remove financial barriers to physical activity by changing the types of expenditures that could be payable out of tax-favored health investment accounts, reducing the incidence of costly and preventable chronic diseases that are driving up our health care spending.”   

“Physical fitness for America’s children is one of the best ways to build a healthy lifestyle and prevent future health expenses. It makes sense to let Americans use pre-tax medical accounts for this purpose. Not only will this change make it more affordable for parents to put their kinds into youth sports programs, it’s also a crucial investment in our future collective health. We should encourage healthy choices, and the PHIT Act will do just that,” said Rep. Mike Kelly 

“Physical activity and exercise are vital to the health of our children and all Americans,” said Rep. Darin LaHood. “Allowing the use of tax-favored health investment accounts to pay for things like fitness center dues, children’s sports fees, or exercise equipment is a common-sense approach to incentivizing exercise and lowering the cost to do so. We must continue to provide flexibility and choice in how we pay for healthcare. This bipartisan bill will not only help provide the opportunity for better health outcomes, but it will also reduce costs to our healthcare system in the long run.”  

“Now more than ever, particularly as the country begins to recover from the Coronavirus pandemic, we need to do more to reduce barriers to play and improve the opportunity for all kids to get in the game,” said Kim Davis, senior executive vice president of social impact, growth initiatives and legislative affairs of  the NHL. “The PHIT Act will help families get back on the ice after more than year of navigating uncertainty, and we commend Reps. Ron Kind, Mike Kelly, Terri Sewell and Darin LaHood for leading this important effort to encourage fitness and access to sport.” 

“A great many local Pop Warner organizations, run by volunteers, operate on a break-even budget. At a time when more young people need physical activity and more interactions with their friends to limit the mental and physical health fallout from COVID, youth sports are more vital than ever but many leagues are broke due to cancellation of sports. With parents suffering financial hardship from the pandemic, the PHIT Act will allow more parents to register their children in youth sports. There is tremendous pent-up demand for youth sports - children who’ve been attending school remotely want to get out, run around and play with their friends, and the PHIT Act will help make that happen,” said Jon Butler, President of Pop Warner Little Scholars.  

The PHIT Act changes current federal tax law to allow for the use of pre-tax dollars in an individual Health Savings Account to cover expenses related to organized individual and team sports, fitness and exercise, recreation and other physical activities.   

Rep. Kind serves on the Subcommittee on Health for the Ways and Means Committee, the most powerful - and the oldest - committee in the House of Representatives. It has jurisdiction over tax measures, the management of public debt, trade and tariff laws, Social Security, Medicare, pensions, and many other economic growth measures.   

Read the bipartisan bill here.