Improve Medicare -- or we'll go bankrupt

The well known women at are stopping by WalletPop on a frequent basis to answer your spending and personal finance questions.

This week we asked them: Among women you know on Medicare, has the program worked well/been successful? The legendary gossip columnist Liz Smith and founder of Sesame Street Joan Ganz Cooney share their thoughts about the program.

Liz Smith: Most of the women I am friends with are already on Medicare and they seem to be coping quite well in using this great mechanism. This doesn't say, however, that if we don't want to go bankrupt we better improve the system. I want to give President Obama's ideas a chance to do that.

Joan Ganz Cooney: I have private insurance but I assume most people are happy with Medicare. The problem is that it is going to bankrupt the country. It is a fee-for-service insurance plan, which provides motivation to doctors to do a lot of unnecessary tests. Unless it is reformed soon to run more like the Mayo Clinic, for example, there will eventually be drastic changes. is a Web site aimed at influential women over 40, much like its distinguished founders and contributors, which include Marlo Thomas, Lesley Stahl, Candice Bergen, Liz Smith, Joni Evans, Mary Wells and Whoopi Goldberg.

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