Making the Healthy Choice the Easy Choice
Public health and physical fitness are important to our physical well being and our economic productivity, and in order to get the best results it’s important to instill healthy habits and routines early in life. Promoting good health, especially to kids, is something we all can do to help keep America competitive on the global stage because it's hard to develop a healthy mind without a healthy body. More than ever, it is vital that we begin living healthy, active lifestyles. That is why I am working on initiatives to make the healthy choice the easy choice.
Fitness Integrated with Teaching (FIT) Kids Act
One-third of school-age children and adolescents are overweight or obese in the U.S. Over the past three decades, childhood obesity rates have tripled in the U.S., and today, our country has some of the highest obesity rates in the world.
The FIT Kids Act will authorize grants to States to develop comprehensive, data-driven, and evidenced-based programs to address student physical health and well-being, fitness, and nutrition. Through these grants, schools will be able to implement, improve, adopt, or adapt programs and monitor school-level conditions in order to promote physical activity, education, fitness, and nutrition for their students.
Ron joins kids at a school lunch table to discuss healthy food choices.
To see my FIT Kids speech on the floor of the House of Representatives, click here.
Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans Act
This legislation will require the Secretary of Health and Human Services to publish a report entitled “Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans” every ten years, with the first report due five years after passage.
The report will contain physical activity information and guidelines for the general public. The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans report should highlight best practices and continuing issues in the physical activity arena.
The report must be based on current scientific and medical knowledge and should include guidelines for specific subgroups, including children, if information indicates that those subgroups require different levels of activity.
Personal Health Investment Today (PHIT) Act
PHIT would change current federal tax law to allow for the use of pre-tax dollars to cover expenses related to organized individual and team sports, fitness and exercise, recreation and other physical activities. Americans could invest up to $1,000 annually to pay for these activities by placing money in existing pre-tax Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA), Health Savings Accounts (HSA), Medical Savings Accounts (MSA), and/or medical reimbursement arrangements. PHIT would not increase the contribution limits for pre-tax accounts, it would only expand the list of eligible expenses.
Under the current set-up, Americans predominantly use pre-tax accounts to pay for treatment and detection of illnesses: prescription drugs, doctor visits, examinations and screenings. PHIT would broaden the focus of these existing accounts to include prevention in the form of increased physical activity. Increased activity would reduce the incidence of obesity and its related chronic illnesses which account for a disproportionate share of America’s healthcare spending. Depending on the consumer’s individual income tax bracket, PHIT would save Americans 15-45% on the costs of physical activities, exercise programs and related expenses, including equipment.
Treat and Reduce Obesity Act
Treat and Reduce Obesity Act expands the type of health professionals that can provide intensive behavioral counseling to include dieticians, physicians, and other primary care practitioners.
Intensive Behavioral therapy has a clinically proven track of success and we should allow the providers who specialize in that type of service to provide it – not just primary care physicians.
The Treat and Reduce Obesity Act will provide coverage in Medicare Part D for Weight Loss Management/Obesity Drugs. Due to significant medical advances resulting in the development of weight loss drugs and the current and growing epidemic, the Part D statute has become out of date. It’s time to remove the prohibition on weight loss drugs covered under Part D.