Letter: US-style care

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The Independent Online
In "Around the world in three pregnancies" (23 November), Margaret St John dismisses American health care on the basis of one experience, always a dubious premise. My wife and I found that our insurance company covered all pregnancy costs, including IVF and scans; that the doctors are very friendly and helpful; and that pre-natal classes are free at our hospital. Moreover, IVF here worked out cheaper than in England and a simple surgical procedure that was ignored in England was carried out here, allowing my wife to become pregnant.

Also Joan Smith (23 November) asserts that "today's bigger, faster cars are choking us to death". Today's cars are relatively clean, what with the use of unleaded fuel, electronic engine management and catalytic converters. It's not today's bigger, faster cars that are the problem in London, but the sheer number of cars - particularly older ones and diesels - sitting idly in jams caused by a mixture of inadequate roads and underfunded public transport. By the way, cars and speed per se don't kill people: bad driving and simple errors do.

Mark Gillies

Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA

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