Numbers can be tricky. And when trying to make political points in Washington, they probably should be checked twice (like Santa’s list of naughty and nice). USA-WEATHER/SNOWSTORM

So when Howard Dean, an influential liberal Democrat, and Joe Scarborough, a conservative Republican commentator, both used the SAME figure to make the SAME point that the Senate healthcare bill would mainly help insurance companies, it caught our attention.

First came Dean on NBC’s “Meet The Press,” saying:  “In this last week of unseemly scrambling for votes, we have committed to go down a path in this country where private insurance will be the way that we achieve universal health care.”

He went on:  “It is not a coincidence … that insurance company stocks, health insurance company stocks, hit a 52-year high on Friday.  So they must know something that the rest of us don’t.”

Yes that was a 52-YEAR high in that comment.

Then Joe Scarborough decided to repeat it, again on “Meet The Press.”