Your Dec. 14 op-ed page featured three editorial columns that fit together perfectly.

In Jim Arnold’s weekly column about fighting cancer, he wrote that he hated the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life” until an outpouring of support for him during his illness made the movie real for him.

On behalf of the millions who watch it every holiday season: Welcome to our group.

Arnold had disapproved of the movie’s moral: “Do the right thing for the right reasons, and you would receive back tenfold.”

The movie’s hero, banker George Bailey, never gets rich. He could have, if he’d let his crooked competitor, Mr. Potter, corrupt him. But he doesn’t. And because he’s not rich, he can’t replace missing money and faces prison.

It’s greedy Potter who profits. By the end, he’s richer than ever, while Bailey, saved by the community he’s served faithfully, is still (happily) living in his rambling fixer-upper.

So here’s a different moral: Each of our lives makes a difference, that our choices matter.

The other two columns were both about the Affordable Care Act. Written by state Sens. Colleen Lachowicz and Rod Whittemore, they could have been written by Bailey and Potter, respectively.

Lachowicz has seen friends die for lack of insurance and is determined to make ACA work: “People put their trust and faith in us to do what is right. We have a moral obligation to do just that.” Bailey wouldn’t sell out depositors; Lachowicz won’t sell out voters.

Meanwhile, Whittemore is for “taking a good hard look at how the federal government wants to get involved in expanding Medicaid here.” He’d put 70,000 uninsured Mainers at risk to defeat the other party.

A prescription for Whittemore: Watch “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Remember how wonderful life can be.

Charlie BernsteinAugusta

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