The conventional population paradigm in the United States has distinguished between the white majority and the sizable and easily identified black minority. Until recently, much less attention has been paid to Hispanics (or Latinos), currently 20 million in number, who the Census Bureau projects will increase to 31 million persons of a total population of 283 million by the year 2010. In the next two decades Hispanics will account for one of every three net additions to the US population. The analysis that follows considers the critical factors that collectively will determine the access of Hispanics to the health care system and illuminates the changes that, if introduced, will contribute to its improvement. These issues include the homogeneity or heterogeneity of the Hispanic population; the extent to which socioeconomic status adversely affects Hispanics' access to health care; the influence of demographic and epidemiological factors on their needs for care; the role of neighborhood factors in determining their access to the health and medical infrastructures; the paucity of Hispanic health professionals; and finally, the major reform proposals currently on the nation's health agenda as they relate to the issue of improved access to care for Hispanics.