Growing awareness of apparent gaps in health care received by women and men raises concern over possible discrimination. This literature review examines this issue for elderly women, whose health care is obtained in a system that also may be permeated with age discrimination. Physicians tend to spend more time with women and older patients, suggesting that discrimination may not be an issue in the physician-patient relationship or may work in favor of older women. However, this may simply reflect elderly women's poorer health. Gender and age disparities in medical treatments received provide a more compelling argument that the health care system is a source of discrimination against older women, who are less likely than others to receive available treatments for cardiac, renal, and other conditions. The history of medical treatment of menopause suggests that stereotypes of older women have been advantageous for segments of the health care system. Finally, in addition to discrimination that has its source within the health care system itself, societal-wide inequities, particularly economic, are extremely detrimental to older women's health care. As we respond to the health care crisis, we must be alert to the potential to rectify those structures and tendencies that can lead to discrimination against women and the aged. Health care reform presents a unique opportunity to ensure health care equity.