Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) on Wednesday walked back comments he previously made that the current healthcare reform negotiations are "dead."

Frank said that the election of Scott Brown (R-Mass.) as the 41st GOP senator would render the current negotiations dead because Senate Democrats would lose their filibuster-proof majority.

"I have realized that my statement last night was more pessimistic than is called for, although I still regard the fact that the Republicans have now elected a 41st Senator as a serious obstacle to getting health care done," Frank said in a release today. 

House Democratic leaders have vowed to complete the healthcare negotiations despite Brown's election and are now weighing a number of alternative means to pass the bill that would bypass the need for another Senate vote that requires a 60-senator majority.

Here is more from Frank:

I was reacting – perhaps overreacting – to proposals I had heard from a variety of sources that we do things to facilitate the passage of a health care bill that would have sought in the short-term to neutralize yesterday’s election – for example delaying the certification of Senator-elect Scott Brown, or using the vote of Senator Kirk to try to get things done before Senator-elect Brown could be seated

Democratic leaders, including President Barack Obama, have ruled out pushing the bill through Congress before Brown is seated.

Frank previously said in an interview "I think the measure that would have passed, that is, some compromise between the House and Senate bill, which I would have voted for, although there were some aspects of both bills I would have liked to see change, I think that's dead."

The Massachusetts Democrat in his retraction also did not rule out the possibility that the Senate bill could be adopted in the House, but not without some changes to healthcare taxes and the Nebraska Medicare provision.

"There are other ways in which I would like to see the Senate bill improved, but they are not obstacles to its ultimately becoming law to the same extent," he said.