Pres. Obama to visit Milwaukee on March 3rd in wake of "Healthy Communities Challenge"

MILWAUKEE -- FOX6 News has learned President Barack Obama will visit Milwaukee on March 3rd in the wake of the city winning the "White House Healthy Communities Challenge."

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett issued the following statement about the president's visit:

“I am thrilled to be welcoming President Obama to Milwaukee next week to celebrate our success in the Healthy Communities Challenge. In November, when I received a call from the White House challenging Milwaukee to increase the number of new enrollees into the Health Insurance Marketplace, I accepted without hesitation with the knowledge that our coalition of health partners was already at work.”

“Our victory not only shows the success that a collaborative effort can produce, but highlights a much more important message: Today, more Milwaukee-area residents have health insurance coverage than ever before. This opens the door to care and to improving the health of our entire community.”

“I am proud of the collaborative effort that took place to increase the number of local residents enrolled in health insurance, and I look forward to showcasing the hard work of the more than 100 partners in the Milwaukee Enrollment Network during this visit.”

On Friday, February 12th the city, county, state and national leaders, along with healthcare advocates gathered around a speaker phone as the White House made the announcement. The call was the from the president's Chief of Staff, Denis McDonough.

A news release issued by the White House said under the leadership of Mayor Tom Barrett and County Executive Chris Abele, about 38,000 people in the Milwaukee area newly selected a plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace during this open enrollment period.

Chicago, Ill.; Atlanta, Ga.; Detroit, Mich. and Oakland, Calif. rounded out the top five for the Challenge. As the victorious community, Milwaukee receives bragging rights, a healthier community, and a visit from President Obama to celebrate their success in helping ensure Americans have health coverage.