The concept of single-payer health care tends to resonate more with those on the political left than with those on the right. But Tevi Troy explains in Commentary how Republicans’ recent health care stumbles might boost prospects for a single-payer option.

While Republicans scramble, Democrats flush with victory will not stand pat in the months ahead. They will take the opportunity created by the GOP’s failure to move aggressively in the direction of single-payer health care on the model of Canada’s or Great Britain’s. Such a system would be more government-directed, more Washington-centric, with less choice, fewer incentives to develop life-saving cures, and more rationing than our current system. But Democrats are optimistic that Obamacare’s many problems, coupled with the Republican failure to deliver on a workable alternative, are creating a path. Liberals may celebrate the salvation of Obamacare, but they know it is unworkable in the long run.

Furthermore, the way the debate has shifted is smoothing the path to single-payer. If coverage is the ultimate good, a system that “guarantees” coverage with no exceptions will have a leg up in all arguments, regardless of its impact on cost, quality, access, and freedom. The success of Democrats in pushing the coverage issue to the exclusion of all else, combined with a Republican inability to counter the Democratic arguments, has brought us to a point when single-payer is more likely than it has ever been—despite the Republican electoral triumphs over the past seven years.

Those triumphs mean that Republicans have the presidency through 2020, of course, and control of the House and the Senate through at least 2018. But if Democrats manage to recapture the House, Senate, and White House after the 2020 election—a not implausible scenario given President Trump’s historically low approval ratings—it appears single-payer will be one of their top legislative priorities.