WHEELING - Phones in Congressional offices in Washington are ringing as constituents tell lawmakers their experiences with health care reform through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Local members of Congress say they are hearing different messages.
Rep. David B. McKinley, R-W.Va., said he is hearing about the problems with the health care law.
"It's clear that the health care law is not working," he said. "Every day our office hears from people across the state who are scrambling to find health insurance after being dropped from their current coverage. Employers are cutting back hours or not hiring due to the costs.
"President Obama promised premiums would go down and they're dramatically increasing. President Obama promised you could keep your doctor, and you can't. People are tired of broken promises and just want solutions. Is this truly the best health care system we can come up with?"
McKinley's Republican colleague from Ohio, Rep. Bill Johnson, also doesn't see health care reform working for the people he represents.
"Folks in Eastern and Southeastern Ohio are flooding my office with stories of skyrocketing premiums, cancellations of the insurance policies they like, and denials of access to the doctor they choose," Johnson said. "The law is also hurting small business owners who are being forced to make painful decisions that affect both their employees and their customers.
"In addition, the rollout of the healthcare.gov website was fatally flawed due to a lack of oversight and accountability from the administration, and the lack of security surrounding the website should be a concern of all Americans. I've voted for legislation that would require that if a security breach occurs on the federal healthcare website, then within two business days of the security breach HHS must inform anyone whose personal information has been compromised. That's just common sense."
Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., is hearing a different tune from his callers.
"The health reform law is working," Rockefeller, D-W.Va. "Since the law passed, I have heard from so many people who have amazing personal stories of finally being able to see a doctor or have the peace of mind that health insurance provides. For example, West Virginia's expanded Medicaid program is a true success story, with 83,000 West Virginians getting health care through that new opportunity.
"And in the last couple of months, our country recently reached a milestone as 3 million Americans nationwide signed up for private coverage through the marketplace. Each month we see even more people benefiting from health insurance, some for the first time in their lives, which brings us even closer to making access to health care a reality for all."
Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said 2014 should be "a transition year" for the health care law that gives Americans the chance to shop around for the best and most affordable insurance plans. He also believes a change in America's health care system was necessary.
"With that being said, we are all aware that there have been colossal failures and missteps during the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, and there are many policies within the law that must be fixed," he said. "However, there are also many good aspects to the law that offer more health services to millions of hardworking Americans, and we certainly cannot and must not to go back to how the health care system used to work. I will continue to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to fix this law's many problems while keeping its positive aspects.
"We need health care reform that provides certainty to our families and businesses, creates well-paying jobs, lowers overall costs, and improves the health and well-being of all West Virginians and Americans. I hope the Affordable Care Act is successful in achieving those goals, but if it isn't, I'll be the first one to support new ideas that do."