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Health and Fitness Industry Gets Moving on Capitol Hill to Champion Legislation Encouraging Exercise
Date:5/21/2008

6th Annual IHRSA Summit Pumps Prevention to Curb Weighty Health Care Costs

BOSTON, May 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- More than 130 health and fitness industry leaders from 25 states gathered today in Washington, DC, at the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association's 6th Annual Legislative Summit in a coordinated effort to remove federal barriers to exercise and focus legislators' attention on the need to transform our current health care system from one that focuses on "sick" care to one that focuses on prevention and wellness. During the two-day Summit (May 21 and 22) fitness advocates will be encouraging their Members of Congress to support two health promotion bills: The Personal Health Investment Today (PHIT) Act (H.R. 245) and The Workforce Health Improvement Program (WHIP) Act (H.R. 1748 and S. 1038).

"The unchecked increase in America's waistline comes at a high a price," says Joe Moore, IHRSA President and CEO. "Not only does it compromise the health of individuals, but it increases the nation's health care costs and lowers our overall productivity. The government can play a life-saving role by passing legislation that supports Americans' own personal efforts to preserve their health."

The Personal Health Investment Today (PHIT) Act (H.R. 245) would allow people to pay for exercise and physical fitness programs, certain exercise equipment, and children's sports league fees with pre-tax dollars through their Flexible Spending Account (FSA), Medical Savings Account (MSA), or Health Savings Account (HSA). That means Americans could save 20 to 30 percent a year on their fitness-related costs because they wouldn't be paid for with taxable income.

"We all know the research on the benefits of exercise is piled high," says Jonathan Ross, American Council on Exercise's (ACE) "Personal Trainer of the Year" and spokesperson, Exercise TV's "2008 Best Personal Trainer," Discovery Health's "2008 National Body Challenge F
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SOURCE International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association
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