Over the weekend, Congress reached the expected impasse.
First, the House sent the Senate a bill to avoid a shutdown and attached a legislative barnacle to delaying the president's health care plan. The Senate scraped the bill clean, sent it back to the House, which then attached a slightly different barnacle, which Senate leader Harry Reid has vowed will also be rejected.
His position being that the time to defeat Obamacare was when it was being debated the first time, not after it was upheld by the Supreme Court, and certainly not right after the reelection of the president it was named for.
Rather than going through the whole debate again, maybe it's time to take a different approach: a new kind of compromise.
It's very clear the country is splitting into two camps. One camp is willing to give this new health care thing a try. The other camp sees it as something on the order of blasphemy.
But forcing a shutdown over this? It's not as if we're debating slavery here.
"What else at one time was the law of the land? Slavery!" said Rush Limbaugh.
Well maybe for some people.
But there's a better way to handle this. We know who absolutely cannot abide Obamacare - it's the districts that elected Tea Party representatives to the House. It's a relatively small area - Northern Utah, Southern New Mexico, parts of Nebraska and Kansas, Northern Louisiana, pockets in Tennessee, Georgia, and South Carolina.
Make those areas Obamacare-free zones. No taxes, no penalties, no regulations - and in exchange, no guarantees of coverage, and no subsidies.
We'll see who's right.