Fine, let me paraphrase.
What is the best way for Americans to get affordable health insurance rather than relying on Medicare, Medicaid and the emergency rooms?
The best way would have been to never create Medicare and Medicaid in the first place. If you're eligible for these programs you're stupid not to participate in them (from a purely financial standpoint). They charge participants considerably less than regular insurance. They're able to do so by supporting it with payroll tax revenue and to some extent denying coverage for certain items (it is a myth that insurance companies are constantly denying care...medicare and medicaid do it way more often). Some of this might be paid for with debt, as well, although I'm not sure about that. Ok, not a big deal, even if you're one of the individuals paying the tax since it's fairly small. The problem is that Medicare and Medicaid pay care providers less than insurance companies. Some providers choose not to accept these patients, but the ones that do often charge their other patients more. That person's insurance company passes that cost onto customers via higher premiums. Apparently this makes insurance companies evil.
The reason there is a "crisis" (it's not really a crisis yet, just a problem) is because the elderly (those who are on Medicare) consist of a larger percentage of the population than ever before. This will only get worse as the baby boomers start retiring. Plus, the life expectancy has obviously been increasing since the program was started. A growing and increasingly more expensive group of people, therefore, is becoming dependent on a separate group, whose costs are rising as a result. The jockey is becoming too fat for the horse. Apparently both of these issues never occurred to the dumbasses who established Medicare back in the sixties.
That said, we can't just kill Medicare. People have planned their retirements around it and it'd be inappropriate to just take it away. That said, we can charge them more. I'm a healthy 22 year-old male with no preexisting conditions. I'm literally the cheapest type of person to insure. Medicare patients pay something like $90/month for what is great coverage despite some of the denials of care. I pay about twice that. An obese grandma with heart problems and cancer who just slipped on ice and broke her hip will pay less in premiums than me. There's your problem.
The answer is to phase Medicare out by gradually increasing the age at which people are eligible for it (bonus points since this could delay their retirement too). On top of that, increase Medicare patients' monthly premiums. This way, the people who are actually receiving services would actually be paying a greater portion of those costs. This would make health care more like, you know, every other product and service out there. You won't hear this solution offered, though. Politicians certainly don't want to anger the most powerful voting block in the country.
Other than that, the current bill needs real tort reform (not the pilot program the lefties threw in there as a bone to the right), interstate competition, greater tax-exemptions for health-savings accounts, high-risk pools for those with preexisting conditions, and to allow hospitals to refuse to treat those who won't pay for the care (signing a simple bond upon arrival would do the trick). Right now it's essentially just a bill that raises taxes and pays for people who can't afford insurance to get some. Hurray, a new dependent class! There are also a bunch of new regulations enacted that just make it more expensive for insurance companies to provide coverage for us and providers to care for us. These regulations are totally gonna "protect" us, though. This bill increases demand for a product while making supplying that product more expensive. Unfortunately, the healthcare industry isn't immune to basic economic laws, so don't be fooled, premiums will continue to go up.
At the very least it will be fun to watch this bill go through the courts, in particular the individual mandate. This will take years, but reportedly there are going to be some lawsuits filed next week. Creating a better bill, of course, would've kept this from bogging down the justice system. Obviously that's too much to ask of our elected officials, many of whom hopefully won't be there this time next year.