We all understand, or should understand, that politics is fueled by drama. It's hard to make people care about some policy issue unless you can show how if you don't get your way, it'll cost someone their life or job.
I suspect that both sides will reach a deal at the last minute. Give in anytime before then, and the side that gave concessions will look weak in front of their base. But aren't we all tired of having this debate every couple of years? Aren't we worried that there will come a time when both sides dig in their heels and goes into default? Is default inevitable in the long run? I don't have an answer for that. If it happens, it'll be one of those events that looks inevitable in hindsight.
The best way to prepare for and possibly prevent a default is to reduce the amount of power and responsibility that we assign to the federal government. If it's worth doing, and doesn't involve national defense or tangible goods crossing state lines, then it shouldn't be done by the federal government. Our healthcare and your children's education should not be subject to the whims of 536 people who cannot reach a consensus when it matters most.