A group called the Chicago Tea Party Patriots publicly heckled a grieving family and suggested that the couple fabricated their tragic story.
At a town hall held by Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.) on Nov. 14,, Dan and Midge Hough spoke about how they believed the death of their daughter-in-law and her unborn child were caused, in part, by a lack of health insurance. Twenty-four-year old Jennifer was uninsured. According to her in-laws, she was not receiving regular prenatal care and was not properly treated when she got sick. She ended up in an emergency room with double pneumonia that developed into septic shock, had a heart attack, a brain bleed and a stroke. The baby died and Jennifer died a few weeks later.
Midge Hough was heckled by anti-reform crowd members. "You can laugh at me, that's okay," she said, crying. "But I lost two people, and I know you think that's funny, that's okay."
A local Tea Party organizer falsely claimed that the couple had made up the story and tried to justify the town hall behavior, according to the Southtown Star.
Catherina Wojtowicz, of Chicago's Mount Greenwood community, an organizer for a Tea Party splinter group, Chicago Tea Party Patriots, falsely claimed that the Houghs fabricated their story. In an e-mail, she called them operatives of President Barack Obama who "go from event to event and (cry) the same story." [...]
The audience, Wojtowicz later explained, was exasperated by stories of isolated tragedies that cloud debate over the health care bill itself.