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Growing ethnic diversity translates into rising numbers of individuals facing socioeconomic disadvantage, creating a context in which detailed examinations of public policy are critical for understanding the health care needs of immigrant populations in the United States. Although many scholars document the link between social disadvantage and increased morbidity and mortality, additional analyses are needed to identify specific public policies associated with decreased access to social goods and public services. The implications of the latest welfare bill, the Personal Responsibility and Work Reconciliation Act of 1996, on the health and social welfare of the aging Hispanic population provides a unique opportunity for such inquiry. On the basis of demographic trends and recent analyses of data from the Hispanic Established Populations for Epidemiologic Study of the Elderly, the results suggest that older, Mexican–origin immigrants are likely to become an even greater administrative responsibility of state and local governments.