MILWAUKEE (AP) -

A Republican state senator says the state should slow down Gov. Scott Walker's plans to shift thousands of patients from state coverage into the federal health care program, citing concerns about delays in setting the program up.

The federal insurance exchanges are supposed to be available by Jan. 1, an ambitious deadline.

As a contingency, Sen. Alberta Darling says lawmakers should consider using federal funds to allow those patients to stay on state Medicaid for another year or so.

A Milwaukee Journal Sentinel report says other Republican lawmakers including Assembly Speaker Robin Vos say there's no way Darling's plan would happen.

And a governor's spokesman says even if the opening of the exchanges is delayed, the state would just keep Medicaid as is until the federal government is ready.