With all the debate over Barack Obama’s recently passed health care bill, one thing that can be agreed upon is that the aforementioned president likes to mix in a little bit of everything with his health care reform, and apparently also loves surprises. The latest lovely surprise close scrutinizers of the new law have unearthed is a ludicrous 3.8 percent sales tax on real estate sales that will have many Americans sharing the profits of their home sale with Uncle Sam. Specifically, the 3.8 percent tax is on all “unearned income,” such as bank interest, social security payments, and dividends from stocks. The tax is subject to a $250,000 threshold, meaning that any gains under that number are tax free. However, the tax also affects real estate sales, meaning that many middle class Americans who are selling their homes for $250k or more will be forced to pay up. Also, I hope none of you plan on dying after 2013, since the tax also cuts into payouts on life insurance policies. The most obvious question presented by the sudden revelation of this tax is: What it is doing in a health care reform bill? Don’t bother asking your state senator. Even some members of Congress were unaware of this tax’s presence in the health care bill until after it was signed. This tax won’t take effect until 2013, but then again, most of us younger folk won’t be buying houses until after that date anyway. However, even though it won’t affect us when buying a home or renting an apartment, one day down the road it will be us paying the government for the right to sell our home. Remember that senator who yelled “YOU LIE!” at President Obama in the middle of one of his speeches on health care? While he probably could have found a better forum to express such feelings towards Barack, one cannot argue with such a sentiment. The cloak-and-dagger methods of those who drafted said health care bill are simply astounding, as they seem to have filled up every free space in the long and confusing bill with hidden stipulations known to very few until after the deed was done. I can’t help but think that this whole philosophy of taxing the people for the new health care reform is a little backwards. After all, the system is already built to help the monster drug companies to a huge profit, and the reform only furthers that cause. It is fact that the American prescription drug market is ridiculously profitable, so why not tax them on their profits instead? Perhaps it has something to do with the significant amount of campaign aid that these companies gave to the Democrats to help elect their candidate in 2008. Before the election, when Obama supporters would tout his grand plans for new health care reform, renewed hope and all sorts of fluffy bunnies and cupcakes besides, I was always quick to respond with the sentiment that it was just good politics on his part but not at all anything to be excited about. Obama has always been a good talker, and perhaps he should stick to it, because now that he has taken action, all we get is a health care reform act that is looking more self-serving and underhanded by the day. Then again, if he thought the best way to appease the public in his entire first two years was to pass one half-baked piece of legislation that is riddled with question marks and sneaky taxes, perhaps he isn’t quite the politician I once thought him to be.