click to enlarge Mike, Aaron, Aiden and Amber Shipman are one of the families who have been impacted by the ongoing contractual dispute between Springfield Clinic and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois. They have put off routine medical care, incurred additional out-of-pocket costs and struggled to find new providers. - PHOTO COURTESY AMBER SHIPMAN
PHOTO COURTESY AMBER SHIPMAN
Mike, Aaron, Aiden and Amber Shipman are one of the families who have been impacted by the ongoing contractual dispute between Springfield Clinic and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois. They have put off routine medical care, incurred additional out-of-pocket costs and struggled to find new providers.

We welcome letters. Please include your full name, address and telephone number. We edit all letters. Send them to editor@illinoistimes.com.

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NO DOCTOR

I want to thank Dean Olsen for his article about the stand-off between Blue Cross Blue Shield and Springfield Clinic ("Doctor dilemmas," March 3). As I sit here typing this letter, I am trying to evaluate the minor chest pain I am experiencing to determine if I need to go to the emergency department, because Blue Cross has taken my Springfield Clinic cardiac specialist from me. I admit Springfield Clinic doctors are expensive, but that is because they are the best in the area. And yes, I have a "choice" to find a new doctor, but here is my choice: Either do what Blue Cross says, and abandon the doctors who have kept me alive, or keep those doctors and become ruined financially. That is no choice. That is an ultimatum.

I know I have to move on for now, so I got an appointment to go to a SIU School of Medicine cardiologist. Yet, 24 hours before my appointment, I got a phone call from SIU canceling the appointment because the doctor was not available. Then they gave me a new appointment several weeks from then, with a totally different doctor.

So here I wait, trying to determine if I am in the midst of a life-threatening cardiac event, with no doctor. When it comes down to it, Blue Cross Blue Shield employees are paper pushers and Springfield Clinic doctors are saving lives and making lives better. Shame on you, Blue Cross Blue Shield.

Rick Wade
Springfield

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NOT IMPORTANT

Why is knowing what the other driver was messaging at the time of the wreck important ("Fatal consequences," Feb. 24)? No matter what he was texting, he shouldn't have been doing it. When someone is drinking and driving, do you ask what was the last drink they had? I don't believe anyone does. Yes, the kid should be punished for what he did.

Crystal Craig
Via illinoistimes.com

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USE THEY/THEM

I'm sorry if Scott Reeder is uncomfortable using "they" as a singular pronoun, but maybe this grammar lesson will help ("Pronoun preferences," Feb. 24). If someone left their phone on a table at a restaurant, you would want to get it back to them, because they are missing it. It's not that hard.

I hoped this article wouldn't diminish the usage of they/them as singular, but it did precisely that. There are suggested replacements, but it's hard enough to be respected when you're non-binary, let alone ask someone to use a new pronoun. They/them can be used in singular form.

Words do matter. When you're open to looking beyond the binary, your use of language will follow suit.

Betsy Buttell
Via illinoistimes.com

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DON'T WANT HELP

Honestly, this doesn't sound hopeful at all ("A strategic plan to address homelessness," March 3). Most of the homeless I deal with downtown don't want our help; they don't want a house or an apartment or even a shelter. They want the freedom to live on the street doing as they please. Most of them are drug addicts with mental health issues. The city also enables the drug and alcohol addictions by allowing the street people to do as they please downtown; there is no enforcement of laws. All you people giving money to panhandlers on the corners, you're not helping – you're just giving them drug and alcohol money, they're not paying rent.

Garret Moffett
Via Facebook.com/illinoistimes

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