You make ask, "why is public health part of this stimulus plan?" or even argue that it has no place in it. I disagree. Maintaining the health of our nation during this economic crisis must be a priority. Healthy workers are productive workers, just as healthy mothers have healthy babies. Healthy babies grow into healthy adults.
Just as the education system will suffer greatly as a result of budget cuts and spending freezes, so will those serving in public health see their budgets shrink and their resources dwindle. Thankfully, the education system will receive $100 billion in investment through the Stimulus Bill (see Nicholas Kristof's Sunday column for his take on this). The $3 billion for public health pales in comparison to that amount. Nonetheless, I think that the public health priorities included in this bill will speak volumes for the types of activities that the administration will pursue in the coming months and years.
It is worth noting that what is good for education is also good for public health. Higher educational attainment is associated with lower risk of disease and death for most health problems. Reducing disparities in education may serve to improve the public's health more than any technological innovation in medicine (e.g., electronic medical records) could hope to. I hope we do not lose focus of the fundamental causes of poor health, to do so would be a tragic misstep.