After a meeting of Democratic leaders as Mr. Brown’s win was being declared, top lawmakers said they were weighing their options as the Senate race had thrown the fate of the health care legislation into serious question.

Noting that the election in Massachusetts turned on a variety of different factors, Representative Chris Van Hollen, Democrat of Maryland, said, “Health care was also part of the debate, and the people of Massachusetts were right to be upset about provisions in the Senate bill like the Nebraska purchase and other special deals.”

The comment was a clear indication that Democrats were recalibrating their approach on health care.