A proposal to use savings from ending the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq to fund a “doc fix” might not be an option, according to the chair of the conference committee tasked with extending the payroll tax cut and delaying scheduled cuts to Medicare physician reimbursement rates.

House Ways and Means Committee Chair Dave Camp (R-Mich.) said that using such war funds is “outside the scope of the conference.” Using the war savings to fund a “doc fix” also could violate congressional pay-as-you-go rules, according to Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Elmendorf. Director Elmendorf noted that the war savings are discretionary spending and Medicare is considered mandatory spending.