President-elect Barack Obama has chosen former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle to head his new Office of Health Reform in addition to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)—which overseas the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other federal agencies that directly impact the lives of HIV-positive people, the Los Angeles Times reports.

According to the article, Daschle is urging for an overhaul of the U.S. health care system, calling for a mandate that all Americans get health insurance. He also wants to create a public insurance program for people who do not receive or cannot afford private insurance. And he has expressed interest in forming a Federal Health Board, which would have the authority to set guidelines for what medical procedures and treatments are most cost-effective.

On December 11, Obama said that his administration will tackle health care reform, with Daschle leading the charge.

“It’s hard to overstate the urgency of this work,” Obama said. “Day after day, we witness the disgrace of parents unable to take a sick child to the doctor, seniors unable to afford their medicines, people who wind up in emergency rooms because they have nowhere else to turn.”