DES MOINES, Iowa — Doctors and medical professionals stood next to Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds Thursday as she signed into law a plan that limits non-economic damages in several medical malpractice cases.

The change still allows Iowans to receive payments for things like medical bills and loss of employment. But it limits other judgments for pain and suffering. The law caps payments from clinics and individual doctors at $1 million and $2 million when hospitals are involved.

Supporters say that it makes the state more attractive for healthcare providers, especially in rural areas that lack services. “We simply do not have enough and the need far exceeds the supply,” Knoxville Hospital & Clinics CEO Kevin Kincaid said of health care services.

Kincaid was among those gathered for the bill signing. “To recruit the best and brightest, to keep providers in Iowa, we need to have to stable practice environment. This bill is a crucial step forward in helping Iowa be a more attractive place to practice medicine, a place for folks to move their families and to be a part of this great state.”

Critics, including some Republicans who opposed the bill, said that it wasn’t legislators’ role to limit damages. It should be up to the courts.

The law takes effect immediately.