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I want to welcome the executives who are here from a lot of the insurance companies that are participating in the marketplace. We all share a similar value, which is we want to make sure that Americans have good, solid coverage that gives them the security they need for themselves and their family members if and when they get sick.
And we know the demand is out there for that. We had, despite all the problems with the website, over a million people apply. Many multiples of that wanted to see what options were available. Obviously because of the problems with the website some folks have been blocked from seeing the well-priced benefits that are available in the marketplace, and so we're working 24/7 to get it fixed. The website is working a lot better now than it was a couple of weeks ago.
And what we're going to be doing is brainstorming on how do we make sure that everybody understands what their options are. Because of choice and competition, a whole lot of Americans who've always seen health insurance out of reach are going to be in a position to purchase it. And because of the law, we're also going to be able to provide them help even if they are still having trouble purchasing that insurance. But they've got to know what those options are in order to be successful.
So I appreciate all these folks coming in. We're going to be soliciting ideas from them. There's going to be a collaborative process. We want to make sure that we get this done so that in the years to come every American is going to have the kind of affordable health care that they all deserve.
Thank you very much for being here.
“I continue to have serious concerns that the agreement the Obama Administration negotiated does not meet the standards necessary to protect the United States and our allies. The deal does not roll back Iran’s nuclear program, but instead allows Tehran to keep in place the key elements of its nuclear weapons-making capability. Under the agreement, the international community relieves the sanctions pressure on Iran while its centrifuges continue to enrich uranium. This hearing will be an opportunity for Committee Members of both parties to press Secretary Kerry to explain why the Obama Administration believes this sanctions-easing agreement is the right course.“
QUESTION: Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif is quoted in a lengthy interview with Time Magazine as saying – and I’m going to read the exact quote because I think it’s interesting. He was asked, “What happens if Congress imposes new sanctions even if they don’t go into effect for six months?” And he is quoted as replying, quote, “The entire deal is dead. We do not like to negotiate under duress. And if Congress adopts sanctions, it shows a lack of seriousness and a lack of a desire to achieve a resolution on the part of the United States. I know the domestic complications and various issues inside the United States, but for me, that is no justification. I have a parliament. My parliament can also adopt various legislation that can go into effect if negotiations fail, but if we start doing that, I don’t think we will be getting anywhere.” Close quote.
I know that the White House last week made clear that it does not want Congress to pass additional sanctions.
MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.
QUESTION: Does the Administration concur with Foreign Minister Zarif’s view that if the U.S. Congress passes sanctions, even those that are delayed – whose implementation would be delayed six months, that the deal is dead?
MS. PSAKI: Well, it takes several partners for a deal to be dead. But I will say --
QUESTION: I thought it only took one.
MS. PSAKI: Well, I should say there are several partners that participate in this, so it’s not up to the United States to decide, is probably the more accurate way of saying it. We have – we do feel that putting new sanctions in place during the course of negotiations, even those that are delayed, would be counterproductive. It could unravel the unity of the P5+1. It could certainly put the negotiations that we have all worked so hard on that we believe is the best chance we’ve had in a decade to achieve a peaceful outcome at risk. And that’s why, as you all know, the Secretary is going to be going up to Capitol Hill tomorrow to testify before the House, and he will certainly be making that point.
Now, on the flip side, he will also be conveying that if the Iranians fall back on any part of their – of the agreement, if they don’t abide by the agreement or they violate it, then we would certainly be leading the charge to put more sanctions in place. So the ask here is to hold off on putting new sanctions in place while we’re pursuing a comprehensive agreement because we feel this is the best chance to pursue a diplomatic outcome.