As our nation deals with the COVID-19 pandemic it is imperative that we have the healthiest and strongest population possible. Physical activity is a key factor in general health and wellbeing, as well as in positive COVID-19 outcomes.
Now, the need for policy encouraging physical activity has been exacerbated by the pandemic’s closing of gyms, parks, and other common sites for exercise. Thankfully, a piece of legislation aimed at addressing this need already exists. The “Personal Health Investment Today Act” (S. 680 and H.R. 1679, commonly referred to as the PHIT Act) provides consumer driven economic stimulus aimed at incentivizing physical activity as a low-cost preventative health measure.
The current bill includes stimulus for golfers through a 12-37 percent discount on green fees, lessons, camps, clinics, tournament fees, and equipment (not apparel). Because this discount uses pre-tax dollars in medical accounts the courses, ranges, and stores providing the activity still receive the full price.
In a July 22 letter to Congressional leadership, members of the PHIT Coalition, asked that Congress include the PHIT Act in the upcoming COVID-19 stimulus package aimed at assisting industries and individuals in COVID-19 recovery efforts. It can be found here.
The letter, which was signed by nearly 4,000 organizations including We Are Golf, urges passage of legislation targeted toward: improving health in America; reducing the strain on our overall healthcare system; and providing consumer-driven economic stimulus solutions to help active lifestyle industries harmed by the pandemic.
For GCSAA and We Are Golf, advocating for the PHIT Act is no new task. This is an issue the golf industry has been behind for quite some time; however, we recognize an increased urgency for this legislation brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. The We Are Golf coalition has been regularly lobbying in support of the PHIT Act in Washington, as part of our National Golf Day.
The PHIT Act has been sponsored in the Senate by Senators John Thune (R-SD) and Chris Murphy (D-CT); as well as Representatives Ron Kind (D-WI) and Mike Kelly (R-PA) in the House of Representatives. Combined, this legislation boasts over 100 co-sponsors. An earlier version passed the House in 2018 by a 277-142 vote as part of a larger health care package.