Count among Florida Gov. Charlie Crist’s strengths his affability, his grasp of issues and his political savvy.
Among his weaknesses, math.
Crist offered a commentary on affordable health care in Florida, which was published Friday in the Naples Daily News.
In it he proudly describes the Cover Florida program, a public-private partnership he says offers Floridians health insurance at costs below the national average. How far below the national average?
“The best-selling plan averages $148 a month, which is 265 percent less than the national average premium,” Crist writes.
That would be some feat, since it is not possible, in the realm of positive numbers, for one number to be more than 100 percent less than another number.
Say the national average Crist refers to is $500. One-hundred percent of $500 is $500. If the Cover Florida plan cost 100 percent less than the national average, it would cost $0. For it to cost 265 percent less, the insurance company would have to pay you to carry their product.
It is likely the governor meant to say the national average premium is 265 percent more than the Cover Florida plan. If that were the case, the national average would be $536, compared to Cover Florida’s $148 rate.