Sunday, July 30, 2006

Tax-Deductible Sports and Fitness?

As most everyone knows by now, the increase in obesity is threatening the health of millions of Americans. This has a real cost -- estimated at about $100 billion a year. Every extra dollar spent on health care hits you right in the pocketbook, in the form of higher health insurance premiums (which of course also filters into every product you buy -- for instance, $1,500 for every GM car).

Now there is a proposal in Congress to expand Health Savings Accounts, Flexible Spending Accounts, and Medical Savings Accounts to allow reimbursement for exercise, fitness, and organized sports. It's designated H.R. 5479 and called The Personal Health Investment Today Act of 2006 ("PHIT" -- get it? Who makes up these acronyms anyway?). It makes everything from health club dues and exercise equipment, to sports gear, effectively tax-deductible -- if you have a qualifying medical expense reimbursement plan in place (which of course is a good idea already).

This sounds like an idea worth considering, although of course the potential for abuse is there. If you support this idea -- or if you oppose it -- now is the time to inform your elected representatives. You can get your congressional representative's contact information at

Information about the bill, including its full text, sponsors, and current status, can be seen here. At this writing, it's in the Ways and Means Committee.


At 3:11 AM, Blogger roji said...

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