Hunter’s Letter About Congressman Kind

[Sports Illustrated Kids featuring Hunter Lussi (May 2009)]

Hunter M. Lussi

November 21, 2009

President of the United States
The White House
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

I went up to Capitol Hill this week and learned a lot. I learned that Congressman Kind’s Healthcare staff member and drafter of the new Obesity Bill, Shannon Glynn, learned to play basketball with her Dad and she loved beating him. She also played basketball in high school and intramural basketball in college and she coaches a softball team now. She said she works at a gym now because she gets a discount.

Shannon also confirmed that the Kids Fit Act was just a reporting and information bill and that the PHIT Act would not help anyone get off the couch and exercise unless they had an extra $2,000 to spend on a treadmill rather than food and heat and medicine. She then told me that the Obesity Bill is all about more reporting on body mass index and building sidewalks and new schools so kids can get healthy by walking to school. My Dad then asked her again why she goes to the gym and she said it was because she gets a great discount.

Mr. President, if you are willing to spend billions to build new schools and sidewalks to get America to exercise in 5 years when those projects actually get built, why wouldn’t you spend $10 or $20 billion to get 30 million to 60 million Americas exercising in gyms today. If only 10% of these Americans keep exercising that would be an annual savings in healthcare costs per your chart in MensHealth Magazine of $12.6 billion to $25.2 billion per year. If 50% of the American’s got addicted to exercise because of a free gym membership like you and I are that would save America $60 billion to $120 billion per year and you would have accomplished something that even President Kennedy couldn’t do. You would have gotten America healthy and all Americans would have affordable healthcare.

Thank you again for considering these ideas and for your service to America.


Hunter M. Lussi