"The Republican budget that was put forward I would say is fairly radical. I wouldn't call it particularly courageous," Obama said at a town-hall meeting at Facebook headquarters in California.
For his part, Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican, continues to attack Democrats' main cost-control instrument, an independent advisory board that would have the power to recommend cost savings.
"This is the government rationing commission in Medicare," Ryan said earlier this month.
The Ryan budget and the Obama White House's counter have dimmed prospects of a major breakthrough, which had never looked all that bright in the first place.
For all the heat between House Republicans and the White House, though, the action will remain in the Senate. The bipartisan "Gang of Six" continues to hammer out solutions members hope both liberals and conservatives can embrace.
"Medicare cannot continue the way it is if we're going to survive," Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., said today.
Said fellow "Gang" member Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D.: "We've got to decide as a nation, are we going to do some things that all of us would prefer not to have to do, or do we wait for the roof to cave in?"