"The approach taken under Ryan's proposal for future beneficiaries is this premium support model in which we have a fixed contribution, Medicare approved plans on Medicare exchanges, and the choice, in terms of where those fixed amounts ... are directed, is a choice made by the individual as opposed to the federal government or an appointed bureaucrat," the House GOP aide said.
Ryan's plan would abolish the advisory board and repeal part of the 2010 law that would have closed the Medicare drug benefit's coverage gap, or "doughnut hole."
"They really are taking very different approaches to address the broad challenges of reducing the federal deficit and debt," Neuman said. "The administration is building on the existing system to reduce spending. The Ryan proposal is a fairly dramatic change in the current structure."
Americans view both plans with skepticism.
In an ABC News poll released this week, 65 percent of Americans said they opposed changing Medicare to a system in which the government would give older Americans vouchers with which to buy private insurance. The Republican budget plan includes what's been widely described in news reports as a voucher or voucher-style system, though Ryan has maintained that it's not a voucher system, because subsidies would go directly to insurance companies.
As for Obama and the Democrats' health care plan, Americans remain confused about what it entails, a year after it was passed. In Kaiser's March health tracking poll, 52 percent of those polled said they did not have enough information about the health reform law to understand how it would affect them personally. The poll found that 42 percent of Americans hold favorable views of the law, while 46 percent view it unfavorably.