Beshear says state will do 'everything in our power' to keep Hum - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Beshear says state will do 'everything in our power' to keep Humana

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear says the state will do all it can to keep Humana in Louisville.

Beshear says he has spoken with Humana officials, but will not discuss the content of those talks. Both he and Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer admit their options are limited if Humana decides to sell.

Beshear came to Louisville to celebrate the state being awarded the Governor's Cup. It's a prize presented by Site Selection Magazine to the top state for economic development projects.

"Companies are choosing Kentucky, quite simply, because they like what they see in places like Louisville and Jefferson County," Beshear told the crowd.

But as state and local officials applauded their economic success at the headquarters of Louisville-based Kindred Healthcare, the prospect of losing even part of corporate healthcare giant Humana looms large over Louisville's economy.

"We're going to do everything in our power from the state level, and I know the mayor here will join with me, in making sure that, whatever decisions are made, that we keep this corporate citizen here in Louisville, Kentucky. It's been one of the mainstays of our economy for a long, long time," Beshear told WDRB.

With more than 12,000 employees, Humana is Louisville's second-largest private employer. It's unclear what impact a sale would have on Louisville jobs.

But the worst-case scenario, the complete loss of the headquarters, would be a huge hit.

Beshear says he has talked to Humana, but would not go into specifics.

"We obviously have incentive programs, we have lots of different things we might be able to bring to the table, just as the city of Louisville can, and so we're going to be listening, watching, talking, and just making sure that whatever role we can play, we will be there," he said.

But if Humana decides to sell, the mayor admits there may be little the city or state can do, except try to control the bleeding.

"Any type of transaction with a company their size is tens of billions of dollars. So, what a city can do mostly is make sure we have a talented workforce that can help not only companies like Humana, but other companies that want to grow here," said Fischer.

Humana continues to have no official comment on a possible sale.

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