The SAD Study

That is the main conclusion from the landmark Study About Depression (SAD). It is sponsored by the Foundation of Undermine Necessary Knowledge (FUNK), funded exclusively by the insurance companies.

Critics will complain that the task force contains no mental health experts or other medical professionals. However, all the members are clinical depressives, which means every one has firsthand experience.

This project was anything but easy. Meeting after meeting had to be canceled because panelists simply couldn’t drag themselves out of bed.

At one point it got so bad very large staff members were dispatched to their homes to try and convince or coerce the individuals to face the world. But they would simply pull the covers over their heads. The efforts failed. Isn’t that the way it always is?

Almost. What did do the job was hiring each one’s mother, who would call to say how she was so ashamed — that she’d always predicted her kid would never amount to anything.

Well she was wrong, wasn’t she? The task force has produced its report. Not that the members are getting any enjoyment out of it. But if it is released, all the angry reactions will mean that, for a change, when they burst into tears, they’ll have a reason.

They’ll certainly be startled by the intense political emotions, best described as anger turned outward. Republicans, in particular, will be screaming about how this is just another example of healthcare rationing contemplated by President Obama.

The president will probably have no comment. He’s exhausted after a grueling week of trying to keep the Chinese happy at any cost. Besides, he’s had it when it comes to preventing a Depression

As for other Democrats, they’ll be relatively subdued in their response, since so many of them are despondent over their inability to get anything done.

Criticism will be widespread among psychotherapists and pharmaceutical executives, of course, who will complain that the recommendations are “defeatist,” or some equally remarkable charge.

They will quickly form their own task force to conduct a review called the Major Analysis of the Negative Impact of Clinical Studies (MANICS). The group will best be described as the Depression panel’s polar opposite.

It’s important to say again that this report has not been made public, as panel members keep asking, “What’s the use?”

But the health insurance companies are already counting the billions they can save by withholding payments for mental health treatment. They have already designated Blue Cross and Blue Shield (“the Blues”) to stage a gala introduction.

Already they’ve hired Bobby McFerrin to open the proceeding. He’ll be singing … you guessed it … “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.”

Visit Mr. Franken's website at www.bobfranken.tv.