House Republicans took considerable heat last legislative session for their proposal to drastically cut the state’s Medicaid rolls. The harsh criticism didn’t hurt them on election day. No one took more criticism than Representative Carl Bearden (R-St. Charles); who, as Budget Committee Chairman, proposed the cuts. Bearden takes satisfaction in the fact that Republican ranks in the House grew from 90 to 97 this election year. Bearden, slated to become Speaker Pro Tem, says he’s willing to listen to other proposals, yet he insists Medicaid must be cut. House Speaker-elect, Rod Jetton (R-Marble Hill), points out even Governor Holden’s staff saw the need to scale back the program. Jetton says Democrats used the Medicaid proposal against Republicans in the election and failed in the effort.