By Ovunc Kutlu
NEW YORK (AA) - President Donald Trump will call for an increase of $54 billion in defense spending as part of his budget proposals for 2018, according to the White House on Monday.
Later, the president also said his government would fix the "horrible effects of Obamacare" after he met executives from health insurance companies.
"The finances of our country are in a mess," Trump told reporters at the White House. "Billions and billions of dollars will be saved," through the upcoming budget he said, noting that the U.S. national debt has doubled over the last eight years.
An approximately nine-percent increase in defense spending, from some $600 billion last year, would fulfill Trump's election campaign promise of making "one of the greatest buildups in history" for the U.S. military.
This year’s new budget would focus on "military, safety, economic development," Trump said.
The government, meanwhile, would be expected to cut spending in other areas.
The Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of State, as well as foreign aid and some domestic programs, are anticipated to bear the brunt of cutbacks.
"I want the American people to know that the budget will reflect their priorities ... no more wasted money. We are going to be spending money in a very, very careful manner ... we must do a lot more with less," Trump said.
The president is expected to lay out his priorities and provide more details on his budget proposal on Tuesday in his address to the U.S. Congress.
Repealing Obamacare, also known as Affordable Care Act -- under which an estimated 23 million Americans benefit from health insurance -- was a cornerstone of Trump's campaign promises.
The president said he would introduce more competition into the health system to "substantially" bring down insurance prices by enabling people to purchase health coverage across U.S. state lines.
"State lines are so important for competition. Everybody has been wanting this for years," Trump said.
Trump also said he asked Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price to stabilize the insurance markets and to "ensure a smooth transition" to the new healthcare plan, which he said would bring insurance costs down.
However, he again failed to provide details about the new health insurance plan nor answered if such a plan had been developed.
"If things aren't working out, I will blame you anyway," he told insurance executives.