Could Andrew Dilnot and his colleagues have completed mission impossible and found the key to making sustainable reforms to the adult social care system? On an initial look, the answer may well be "yes." The recommendations from the Commission on Funding Care and Support seem fair, sustainable and could solve a lot of the social care problems that currently exist. But there is a caveat: it's going to cost. How to reform the funding of social care has been a question that has vexed successive governments, with none seemingly able - or willing - to come up with a sustainable solution. Royal Commissions and white papers have come - and gone again - with little change to the current system, acknowledged by many for years as not being fit for purpose. But the Commission for Funding Care and Support - aka the Dilnot Commission - has come up with a report, Fairer Care Funding, that might have just cracked this trickiest of political problems. Some of the headline recommendations include limits to the amounts people will pay towards residential care, retaining universal benefits and introducing standardised eligibility criteria for services. For a fuller list of recommendations, click here. Looking through it, it is hard to argue against the recommendations. Social care was never going to be made free - in an ideal world it would be, but this isn't an ideal world - and this is a viable way forward for paying for it. Other measures echo what people with disabilities and their carers have wanted for years - such as standardised eligibility criteria for services, portable assessments and more information and advice made readily available. It's nice that someone has finally listened. The response to the Dilnot Commission from the social care sector has been, in the vast majority, supportive and welcoming. Most of the comments I saw on Twitter were similarly positive. However, and more worryingly, the response from the government has been muted. Health secretary Andrew Lansley said finding the money would be a significant challenge - and would have to be weighed up against other spending priorities - but added that social care reform was a priority. Hardly a glowing welcome. Meanwhile, Labour leader Ed Miliband said he was willing to engage in cross-party talks, but little else. That is something, however. This issue is not a matter for party politics. There should be cross-party consensus on the future of adult social care funding to ensure that the system that is finally settled upon is in place for decades and not torn up as soon as another administration takes over. For once, the tribalism of Westminster must be shelved for the good of the country. While the last time MPs tried to do this - when Labour produced its 'National Care Service' proposals last year - the talks foundered, but this time there isn't an impending election to cloud thinking so talks may be more fruitful. But Lansley touched on the major stumbling block as to whether Dilnot's recommendations make it off the ground or not. Dilnot reckons his recommendations will cost the government £1.3-£2.2 billion to implement. With Chancellor George Osborne looking to cut costs at every opportunity - which is already impacting on social care budgets through cuts to local authority money - will he baulk at this extra cost? From the government response so far, my gut feeling is "yes". Indeed, where would Osborne get the money from? Increased taxes (never a vote-winner)? Moving spending from other sectors - and therefore cutting other services? It's a thorny problem. But on the other hand, as think-tank Demos pointed out on Twitter, the proposals will cost 1/400th of public spending and fix a lot of social care problems. Can the government afford not to implement? Would the costs of not implementing Dilnot's recommendations exceed those of implementing? These issues need to be addressed; kicking social care into the long grass again is not an option. Dilnot's proposals are the best that anyone has come up with so far and have widespread support from the sector. Despite the cost, reform needs to be implemented, and this should form at least the basis - if not the majority - of it. But we shall not know the government's plans for some time, unfortunately. Dilnot's report will be added to the Law Commission's recent recommendations on social care law, and will go into a social care white paper, which is expected in Spring 2012. Only then will we find out if Dilnot's mission impossible was a fruitful one…