The US plan is to buy launches for LEO, and develop its own capsule and launcher for harder missions.
The options are Soyuz to the ISS, and if any of them work; SpaceX's Dragon, Boeing's CST-100, and SNC's Dream Chaser.
With the COTS program, NASA solicited commercial offerings to provide cargo to the space station, trying to wean itself from reliance on Progress/ATV/HTV missions, or at least have their own alternative.
SpaceX and Orbital Sciences have developed launchers (Falcon 9 and Antares) and carriers of cargo (Dragon and Cygnus) for that need. SpaceX has launched 3 times to the station (as of this writing) with 10 more booked. Orbital is set for its first launches by the end of 2013. Dragon is unique in that it can return meaningful amounts of cargo, Cygnus will burn up on reentry.
For crew capabilities instead of following through with the COTS-D option, the program became the CCiCAP and SpaceX, Boeing, and Sierra Nevada got funding to develop manned products.
SpaceX has said it's Dragon design was meant to be manned from the get go, and just needed primarily an abort system, which they are using the CCiCAP program to develop. (Pusher type using Super Draco thrusters, which are planned for propulsive landing in non-abort cases). They have a pad abort scheduled for the end of 2013 from a test stand (Why waste a Falcon 9 core on an abort test?) and a full up abort midflight later the following year.
Boeing's CST-100 has passed through the various design review phases NASA has expected and making progress. Same for Dream Chaser. A test model is in the process of being tested for landing tests (Dragged by a pickup truck along the runway, to test maneuvering and its front skid (instead of a wheel)).
NASA is working on the Orion capsule to be launched by the SLS (or maybe Delta 4 - Heavy) and is meant for longer missions. None of the commercial alternates are really designed for long missions (Greater than the 2-3 days to the ISS, and day or two to return), whereas Orion is designed for flights to the moon, L1, asteroid missions, or potentially more. There are all sorts of major differences between a 2-3 day mission to get to the ISS then dock, vs dozens to hundreds of days on your own. Things like life support, radiation shielding, power, and just plain endurance.
Thus the US manned space flight plan is let commercial companies do service to LEO, where clearly there is a market if three competitors believe there is enough business to compete. For the 'hard stuff' that is not commercially available, develop it through NASA.