Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Tuesday called for placing a cap on medical malpractice lawsuits, a point that drew loud applause at an Iowa medical school.

Romney focused on health care in an address to some 500 students and faculty at Des Moines University. As governor of Massachusetts, Romney pushed through a plan aimed at reducing the ranks of uninsured in Massachusetts, a group once estimated at up to 500,000. Massachusetts residents had until last Thursday to sign up for health insurance or face possible penalties — a milestone Romney’s rivals gleefully noted.