go a long way toward

go a long way toward something

also go a long way to something
to be very helpful in achieving something The fire insurance went a long way toward repairing all the damage. The extra money will go a long way to buying a house.
See also: long, toward, way

go a long way toward

Have considerable effect or influence on. For example, This argument goes a long way toward proving the scientists are wrong, or, as Eudora Welty put it in The Ponder Heart (1954): "It went a long way toward making him touchy about what Uncle Daniel had gone and done." This idiom, then put as go a great way toward, was first recorded in 1697.
See also: long, toward, way
References in periodicals archive ?
Either of these alternatives would go a long way toward creating the kind of health care system most Americans want: a system in which doctors and patients, not HMOs, make decisions about what services patients need, and in which patients can speak to doctors without fear of having their words plastered across cyberspace.