Who do they think they are?

Who do these poor people think they are, trying to get health care anyway? 

That's the message sent by state officials who barred federally trained "navigators" for the Affordable Care Act from county health departments in Florida. 

Florida has one of the nation's highest population of uninsured citizens -- some 3.5 million souls.  

It also has Rick Scott, tea party darling, for a governor, and a Legislature that loathes "Obamacare" and rejected federal money to fund an expansion of the Medicaid that would provide coverage for those who need it under the health care law. 

Health departments can keep brochures and other outreach materials, but only may hand them out when specifically asked.  

The human beings trained in the details of how the health exchanges will work and other crucial details of the process? They won't be allowed to conduct outreach at health departments, which often serve as health care outlets for poor people. 

Scott and Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi say the decision is rooted in their concerns about privacy protection for people who give their information to navigators.

That is as interesting a cloak for class warfare as I have seen in some time. 

If the governor -- who was CEO of Columbia/HCA health care company at a time when federal investigators were conducting a massive fraud investigation -- wants us to believe that this latest edict is anything other than another attempt to foil a federal law he dislikes, he ought to think again.

In a community such as this one, where the twin spires of low educational attainment and poverty are enduring problems and access to health is social and economic challenge, the edict could have far-reaching and damaging consequences.

Scott ought to tell state health officials to rescind the edict and allow navigators to conduct outreach at local health department offices among a population that is likely in dire need of the information. 

Deciding what kind of coverage you can afford to purchase on the health exchanges that will open Oct. 1 will be challenging for everyone who has to do it.  

Deciding that you won't give people every access to all the resources they might use to make the best decision might be good politics, but it is bad governing.

It also seems pretty far off from the spirit of helping the least among us.