(HealthDay News) – An early supporter and advocate for the Affordable Care Act has been nominated by President Barack Obama to be the country’s next surgeon general.

Vivek Murthy, MD, is founder and president of Doctors for America, a group that campaigned for the controversial health care law before Congress passed it in 2010. He is a doctor at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and an instructor at Harvard Medical School, The New York Times reported. He also has been a leader in HIV prevention and AIDS education in both the United States and India.

Murthy “will be a powerful messenger” on health policy, according to a statement released Thursday by White House spokesman Jay Carney. His nomination is subject to Senate approval.

The previous surgeon general, Regina Benjamin, MD, left her post in July to return to work at a clinic she founded in Bayou La Batre, Ala. Since then, Boris Lushniak, MD, has been acting surgeon general, The Times reported.

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