The Affordable Care Act was on trial in Washington this week, and we can only wait to find out the verdict. Opponents of the landmark health policy law they derisively call “Obamacare” have been emboldened by the tough questioning it faced Tuesday and Wednesday from the Supreme Court. The questioning raised the possibility that the whole law, or at least its central structural element, a requirement that almost everyone buy health insurance, will be struck down.

But if they get their wish, those elected officials should be prepared to answer some tough questions of their own. Even if the federal insurance market reforms passed two years ago go away, the underlying health care crisis the nation faces will not.

And while the individual mandate proves to be unpopular in polls, other elements of the law are already helping Maine people.

As of last June, there were 7,329 young adults who were allowed to stay on their parents’ plans until the age of 26, one more year than the age 25 cutoff limit in existing Maine law.

About 12,000 seniors a year receive assistance buying prescription drugs when they reach the coverage gap known as the doughnut hole. Last year, 187,251 Medicare recipients received free preventive services with no deductible or copay, which will help in identifying more health problems in time to head off costly illnesses. And 226,000 Mainers with private health insurance also received no-charge preventive care.

The law requires every state to set up an insurance exchange by 2014 that gives individuals and small businesses a single location to comparison shop for insurance plans. Those who qualify would receive subsidies to buy coverage.

These programs are not unpopular, and elected officials who have railed against the individual mandate should be prepared to produce alternatives if the law is gutted or eliminated by the court.

When they are paying their health insurance premiums, or when they are visiting a health-care provider, most people don’t really care how the health-care financing system is structured. They just want dependable, high-quality service for an affordable price.

Striking down the health-care reform law in court might look like a political win in the short run, but opponents will have something to answer for as costs skyrocket and fewer people have coverage.