Source: National Recreation and Park Association
Barbara Tulipane, CAE, president and CEO of the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) issued the following statement in response to the ongoing debate over the American Health Care Act (AHCA):
“NRPA believes everyone should have access to preventative health care — including the health and wellness programs offered at many park and recreation agencies across the country. We urge Congress to continue to support the Prevention and Public Health Fund as part of any healthcare reform package. Eliminating the Prevention and Public Health Fund jeopardizes people’s access to chronic disease prevention programs and other proactive measures that our members use to help make their residents healthier. Furthermore, taking away this critical funding puts the health and wellbeing of countless Americans at risk. In providing better healthcare, we should be focusing on ways to improve people’s health, not put them at an increased risk of developing chronic diseases such as diabetes and obesity. Together, we want to help keep people out of the hospital because of preventable diseases and sedentary lifestyles, thus saving the entire system money.
A key way parks and recreation provide preventative health measures is through sports and recreation programming for people of all ages and abilities. Through the bipartisan Personal Health Investment Today (PHIT) Act individuals can use pretax medical dollars to pay for recreation fees, gym memberships, exercise classes, youth camps and more. This week, NRPA joined with other members of the PHIT America Coalition in Washington to advocate for the inclusion of this legislation in healthcare and tax reform packages that Congress is considering. According to a recent poll, more than half (64 percent) of Americans are in favor of a proposal such as the PHIT Act.
At NRPA our goal is to help people live healthier and more active lives. Regardless of where the healthcare debate is headed next, we will continue to work with Congress, the Administration and community leaders to help ensure all Americans have access to parks and recreation centers for this purpose.”
About The National Recreation and Park Association
The National Recreation and Park Association is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to ensuring that all Americans have access to parks and recreation for health, conservation and social equity. Through its network of nearly 60,000 recreation and park professionals and advocates, NRPA encourages the promotion of healthy and active lifestyles, conservation initiatives and equitable access to parks and public space. For more information, visit www.nrpa.org. For digital access to NRPA’s flagship publication, Parks & Recreation, visit www.parksandrecreation.org.