Donald Trump has poured cold water on the idea of drastically reducing spending on military healthcare, after a report emerged claiming that the Pentagon was hoping to make sweeping budget cuts.

The president’s message was in response to a report published by Politico, which stated that the Department of Defense wanted to trim healthcare spending over the next five years as part of Secretary Mark Esper’s call for Pentagon belt-tightening.

“A proposal by Pentagon officials to slash Military Healthcare by $2.2 billion dollars has been firmly and totally rejected by me,” Trump tweeted. “We will do nothing to hurt our great Military professionals & heroes as long as I am your President. Thank you!”

An estimated 9.5 million active-duty personnel, retirees, and their family members rely upon the government-run healthcare system, which operates hundreds of facilities around the world. Esper and his colleagues have argued that some elements of the military-run program could be handed over to the private sector, Politico said. However, the outlet cited two senior defense officials who claimed that the plan was poorly conceived and seemed tailored to meet arbitrary budget goals.

In recent weeks, Trump has taken aim at pharmaceutical companies and for-profit medicine. In July, he signed a series of executive orders aimed at lowering prescription drug costs. Earlier this month, the president tweeted that he was being targeted by “false ads” from the pharmaceutical industry because he wanted to lower drug prices and Medicare premiums. 

“I am the first President to take them on. Don’t fall for their false ads,” he wrote.

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