Thursday, July 17, 2008

IHRSA Engaging Fitness Professionals in Planning Agenda for Health Care Reform

“The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) is reaching out to its membership of fitness professionals at clubs and industry suppliers to work together in developing an industry agenda that will guide the association’s efforts in Washington, DC, during the health care reform debate. ‘We are asking the people of the industry to be creative and think broadly about health care reform,’ says Joe Moore, IHRSA President and CEO. ‘These are the people who every day see the impact that regular exercise has on the lives of Americans. It is important for them to have a voice in this process.’ In the past year, IHRSA has been very encouraged by a growing interest among Washington policymakers in prevention and wellness. The association plans to capitalize on that interest during two major upcoming events. The first is the presidential election, and the second is the widespread belief that 2009 will bring debate and passage of sweeping health care reform legislation. While these events will likely curtail real debate and consideration of health care legislation this year, they offer a great opportunity for the health club industry to become an integral part of the solution to the growing obesity, physical inactivity and health care crises. This agenda will be part of IHRSA’s 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. IHRSA actively lobbies in Washington 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).”

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